Auction 140, Lot 724

"Aden, Arabiae Foelicis Emporium Celeberrimi Nominis, quo ex India, Aethiopia ... [on sheet with] Mombaza [and] Quiloa [and] Cefala", Braun & Hogenberg

Subject: Arabia

Period: 1589 (circa)

Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, Vol I

Color: Hand Color

18.5 x 13.2 inches
47 x 33.5 cm

Braun & Hogenberg's Civitates Orbis Terrarum or "Cities of the World" was published between 1572 and 1617. Within the six volumes, 531 towns and cities were depicted on 363 plates, providing the reader with the pleasures of travel without the attendant discomforts. Braun wrote in the preface to the third book, "What could be more pleasant than, in one's own home far from all danger, to gaze in these books at the universal form of the earth . . . adorned with the splendor of cities and fortresses and, by looking at pictures and reading the texts accompanying them, to acquire knowledge which could scarcely be had but by long and difficult journeys?" Braun and Hogenberg incorporated an astonishing wealth of information into each scene beyond the city layout and important buildings. The plates provide an impression of the economy and prominent occupations, and illustrate local costumes, manners and customs.

A great folio sheet with plan views of the major ports of Arabia (Yemen) and Eastern Africa. These Indian Ocean trading ports were important re-supply points for European traders in the Far East. The top half of the sheet is taken up with a fabulous coastal view of the city of Aden with numerous ships in the harbor and surrounding sea. The city is surrounded by several hills, each topped by a castle. Below are three separate views of Mombaza, Quiloa and Cefala. The information for these views was supplied by the Hanse merchant Constantin van Lyskirchen from a Portuguese manuscript. Latin text on verso describes the ports.

References: Fussel pp. 126-28; Norwich #332; Tooley (MCC) #30.

Condition: B+

Fine impression and attractive, period correct, later color. Repair of hole in bottom margin affecting a bit of the border, else very good.

Estimate: $600 - $800

Sold for: $425

Closed on 5/23/2012