Auction 154, Lot 590

"Calaris, Sardiniae Primaria Civitas... [on sheet with] Malta, Olim Melita... [and] Rhodus, Mediterranei Maris Insule... [and] Famaugusta, Civitas Cypri...", Braun & Hogenberg

Subject: Mediterranean

Period: 1575 (circa)

Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, Vol. I

Color: Hand Color

18.6 x 12.8 inches
47.2 x 32.5 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.

This sheet contains birds'-eye views of four important island ports in the Mediterranean. Cagliari, Sardinia is shown divided into four parts: the central core known as the Castello district and the three suburbs known as Stampax, Glipola, and Nova Villa (New Town). The small port town on the important island of Malta is Valetta, with Fort St. Elmo, Fort Sant'Angelo, and Fort St. Michael identified. Rhodes is depicted in a circular shape surrounded by three fortified walls. Famagusta, on the island of Cyprus, is protected by two sets of walls and a moat. French manuscript text on verso.

References: Fussel, p. 122.

Condition: B+

Attractive color on watermarked paper with four tiny holes in the image and marginal soiling. There is show-through of text on verso in top blank margin, as well as two holes.

Estimate: $600 - $750

Sold for: $425

Closed on 9/16/2015