Catalog Archive
Auction 153, Lot 531

"Zurych / Tigurum, sive Turegum, Caesari, ut Plerique Existimant, Tigurinus Pagus, vulgo Zurych, Urbs in Helvetijs", Braun & Hogenberg

Subject: Zurich, Switzerland

Period: 1583 (circa)

Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, Vol. III

Color: Hand Color

19 x 14.4 inches
48.3 x 36.6 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 superb engraving clearly shows the two parts of Zurich, separated by the River Limmat with the edge of Lake Zurich visible in the lower right-hand corner. The Old Town lies in the foreground centered on the church of St. Peter on the left and the Gothic Fraumunster (Benedictine nunnery) on the right. Across the river is the Wasserkirch, which is connected to the Old Town by a wide bridge. The Romanesque Grossmunster and the Predigerkirche dominate the skyline across the river. The title cartouche at left explains that the city, known as Tigurum during the Roman period, is one of the oldest cities in Switzerland. The plan was engraved from Jost Maurer' view of 1576. French manuscript text on verso.

References: Fussell, pp. 249-51; Goss (Cities) pp. 126-27.

Condition: B+

Attractive color on watermarked paper with light soiling and minor show-through of manuscript text on verso.

Estimate: $1,000 - $1,300

Sold for: $750

Closed on 5/20/2015