Catalog Archive

Auction 156, Lot 465

"Amstelredamum, Nobile Inferioris Germaniae Oppidum...", Braun & Hogenberg

Subject: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Period: 1572 (circa)

Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum

Color: Black & White

19.3 x 13.4 inches
49 x 34 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.

Based on the woodcut plan of Cornelis Antoniszoon (1544), this plan shows Amsterdam with its medieval walls and formal defensive systems. It illustrates the unique Dutch form of urban plan with the Amstel River dammed near its mouth and its flow controlled by channels to the sea with an outer harbor created from the downstream portion, and an inner harbor from the upstream portion. The dam, located at the center, also provided the central plaza for public buildings. Scores of ships and fishing boats fill the harbors, attesting to the increased trade and commerce that Amsterdam was beginning to experience when this plan was published. Latin text on verso.

References: Fussel, pp. 76-78; Goss (Cities) #2.

Condition: B

There is light toning in the blank margins along the map border and a few faint damp stains in the top blank margin. The verso has paper tape along sheet edges.

Estimate: $1,400 - $1,700


Closed on 2/17/2016