Catalog Archive
Auction 156, Lot 787

Illustrated Ranks of the Holy Roman Empire

"[On 2 Sheets] Ordines Sacri Romani Imp. ab Ottone III Instituti", Ortelius, Abraham

Subject: Prints Heraldry

Period: 1624 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

20.5 x 14.8 inches
52.1 x 37.6 cm
Download High Resolution Image
(or just click on image to launch the Zoom viewer)

This impressive pair of sheets illustrated the ranks of the Holy Roman Empire as established by Otto III (980-1002). At top is the Holy Roman Emperor seated in the center, flanked by officials and electors. The second row shows Dukes and Marquises and the third row shows provincial and military dignitaries (counts). The second sheet continues the order of ranking with counts, barons, freemen (or knights), city representatives, village representatives, and farmers. The plates were engraved by Antonie Wierix, a master engraver, for Gerard de Jode, who published them in his Speculum Orbis Terræ in 1593. The plates were acquired by Jan Baptista Vrients, who included them in Ortelius' Theatrum Orbis Terrarum and Parergon beginning in 1603. Latin text on verso, published between 1624-41.

References: Van den Broecke #201 & 202.

Condition: B+

Attractive color on watermarked paper with minor soiling and professional repairs to several chips and tears confined to the blank margins.

Estimate: $800 - $1,000

Sold for: $650

Closed on 2/17/2016