Catalog Archive
Auction 151, Lot 484

The Only Norwegian City Represented in Braun & Hogenberg's Book of City Views

"Bergen", Braun & Hogenberg

Subject: Bergen, Norway

Period: 1597 (circa)

Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, Vol. IV

Color: Hand Color

18.7 x 12.9 inches
47.5 x 32.8 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.

This handsome bird's-eye view depicts the town of Bergen, the only Norwegian city depicted in Braun & Hogenberg's Civitates Orbis Terrarum. The view was created by Hieronymus Scholeus. The city of Bergen was founded in 1070 and had become one of the four most important trading posts to the German Hanseatic merchants by the 16th century. A legend identifies over 20 locations in the view, including the fortress of Bergenhus (A) and St. Mary's Church (K). A gallows appears to the left of the city with a ladder leaning against it. French manuscript text on verso.

References: Fussel, pp. 316-17; Ginsberg #24.10.

Condition: B

Attractive color on watermarked paper with some show-through of text on verso. There is a dark pencil line in left blank margin and several tiny holes, all away from image.

Estimate: $1,100 - $1,400

Sold for: $850

Closed on 11/19/2014