"[Lot of 4] Lille, Insula [and] Arras [and] Douay [and] S. Omer", Braun & Hogenberg
Subject: Northern France
Period: 1581 (circa)
Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, Vol. III & IV
Color: Black & White
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 lot of 4 bird's-eye plans of cities in Northern France was published in Civitates Orbis Terrarum (Cities of the World), the first atlas of town plans. Latin text on verso.
A. Lille, Insula (16.8 x 12.8"). Condition: A nice impression on paper with a large coat of arms watermark, a spot of printer's ink residue near top center, and two tiny worm holes along the centerfold.
B. Arras (18.3 x 13.2"). Condition: A dark impression on watermarked paper with very minor soiling and a hint of toning along the centerfold and edges of the sheet.
C. Douay (15.7 x 13"). Condition: A nice impression on paper with a large coat of arms watermark, a hint of toning along centerfold at top, and a small hole adjacent to the centerfold in the image at bottom. There is a rust stain along the right edge of the sheet, and some minor damp stains along the edges of the sheet as well.
D. S. Omer (14.7 x 13.2"). Condition: A nice impression on paper with a large coat of arms watermark, a few small spots along the centerfold at bottom, light toning along the edges of the sheet, and faint damp stains also along the edges.
References: Fussel, pp. 221, 227, 231-32, 280.
See descriptions above for details.