Catalog Archive
Auction 146, Lot 541

"Norenberga, Urbs Nobilissima, Totius Quasi Germanie Centrum...", Braun & Hogenberg

Subject: Nuremberg, Germany

Period: 1575 (circa)

Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum

Color: Hand Color

19.4 x 12.1 inches
49.3 x 30.7 cm
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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.

This marvelous view of Nuremberg comes from the second volume of Braun and Hogenberg's city atlas. At the time the atlas was published, Nuremberg was one of Europe's most important trade cities and a flourishing cultural center despite its lack of a university. This view shows the city's wall, the towers of the Arsenal, Salt House, and St. Giles monastery, and the mighty spires of S. Laurent and S. Sebaldt, two of the cities' stunning medieval churches. On the rolling hills in the foreground, there are patricians elegantly dressed in the local style, including two children to the right of the cartouche. Three coats of arms decorate the sky above the city. Latin text on verso.

References: Fussel p. 174-5.

Condition: A

Attractive color with wide original margins, faint show-through of text on verso on the left side of the image, and a couple printer's creases at bottom right.

Estimate: $800 - $950

Sold for: $600

Closed on 9/4/2013