Auction 165, Lot 691

"Calechut Celeberrimum Indiae Emporium [on sheet with] Ormus [and] Canonor [and] S. Georgii Oppidum Mina...", Braun & Hogenberg

Subject: Southern Asia & Africa

Period: 1572 (circa)

Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, Vol. I

Color: Hand Color

18.7 x 13.2 inches
47.5 x 33.5 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 is one of the few maps included in the Civitates Orbis Terrarum covering cities outside of Europe. The folio sheet contains four plans featuring cities important to European trade with Asia. The largest top view provides a panoramic view of the important Portuguese port of Kozhikode, India (also known as Calicut), showing the city surrounded by mountains and palm trees, with a royal procession on the beach and a working elephant to the right. At bottom left is Ormus, a city on an island and the main market of the Persian Gulf. At bottom center is Kannur, situated on the coast of Malabar, with simple houses within a forest of palm trees. At bottom right is St. George (Mina), a gold mine in Guinea, which features the castle of Sao Jorge da Mina, which was built in 1482 to protect the trading post. Latin text on verso.

References: Fussel, p. 129.

Condition: B+

On paper with a coat of arms watermark, minor toning along the centerfold, a few short separations also along the centerfold, and marginal soiling.

Estimate: $400 - $500

Sold for: $400

Closed on 11/15/2017