Catalog Archive
Auction 150, Lot 3

The Largest Strada Leo Belgicus

"De Bello Belgico Decas Prima Famiani Stradae Rom. Soc. Iesu", Strada, Famiamo, S.J.

Subject: Frontispiece - Low Countries

Period: 1632 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

8.8 x 12.5 inches
22.4 x 31.8 cm
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The most famous of all cartographic curiosities is the Leo Belgicus, in which the Low Countries were depicted in the form of a lion. This curious form of cartography is one of the highpoints in the Golden Age of mapmaking. This version is based on the original 1583 Aitsinger form with the lion standing facing right with a paw raised and holding a shield. This is the largest of the Famianus Strada versions, used as a frontispiece for part two of his pro-Spanish and pro-Catholic book on the Dutch war of independence. It is beautifully engraved with a stippled sea filled with ships and a sea monster. While the miniature Leo Belgicus maps are occasionally found on the market, the larger ones are quite rare.

References: Tooley (MCC-7) #15.

Condition: B+

Watermarked paper with attractive color and minor soiling. Professionally remargined at right and left with a small portion of neatline and image at bottom right expertly replaced in facsimile.

Estimate: $5,000 - $6,000


Closed on 9/17/2014