Catalog Archive
Auction 156, Lot 521

"Emuda, Vulgo Embden Urbs Frisia Orientalis Primaria", Braun & Hogenberg

Subject: Emden, Germany

Period: 1575 (circa)

Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, Vol. II

Color: Hand Color

19.1 x 13.8 inches
48.5 x 35.1 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 plan shows the town of Emden in northwestern Germany on Dollart Bay at the mouth of the river Ems. An important port city in the mid-sixteenth century, Emden has canals within its city limits, which enabled the city to extend its harbor in 1536 to accommodate more ships. At the center of the view is the large town hall, with the famous Gothic Grosse Kirche along the harbor at left. The Grosse Kirche was an important centre for the Protestant Reformation, and was unfortunately destroyed in World War II. The view is embellished with local figures at bottom right, numerous ships, and the coats of arms of Germany and Emden. French manuscript text on verso.

References: Fussel, pp. 168-69.

Condition: B+

Attractive color with minor soiling, a printer's crease at right, and several small chips and tears confined to the blank margins.

Estimate: $350 - $425

Sold for: $240

Closed on 2/17/2016