Auction 169, Lot 47

Ortelius' Scarce Peutinger Table

"[On 4 Sheets] Tabula Itineraria ex Illustri Peutingerorum Bibliotheca quae Augustae Vindel...", Ortelius, Abraham

Subject: Ancient World

Period: 1598 (dated)

Publication: Theatri Geographiae Veteris Tomus Posterior

Color: Hand Color

20.3 x 15.6 inches
51.6 x 39.6 cm

These four sheets are Ortelius' scarce version of the famous Peutinger Table. These decorative maps, in a sequence of four plates, each with two strip maps, depict the imperial roads and posts within the Roman Empire throughout Europe, North Africa and Asia as far as Toprobana (Sri Lanka). The format distorts the landmasses, but provides an excellent view of the cities and roads, which include distances between the posts. The three most important cities of the Roman Empire, Rome, Constantinople and Antioch, are represented by enlarged symbols including the emperor seated on a throne. Size given is for each plate.

The original parchment document for this incredible map is thought to have been made in the thirteenth century. The original now resides in the Vienna National Library, but is so damaged that the Ortelius version is now the most reliable representation. The Peutinger Table, as it is generally known, derived its name from Konrad Peutinger, who once owned the original. Ortelius had manuscript copies made in 1598 from the original scroll and supervised the engraving, but did not live to see their publication. This edition with Latin text on verso was published in Petrus Bertius' atlas, Theatri Geographiae Veteris Tomus Posterior, in 1618-19.

References: Shirley #212; Van den Broecke #227-230.

Condition: B+

Nice impressions, printed on small sheets of paper with narrow side margins that have been professionally extended to accommodate framing. The sheets have minor toning along the edges, professionally repaired centerfold separations at bottom, and tiny tears along the edges of the sheets that have also been professionally repaired. The third sheet has several small chips confined to the right blank margin. The fourth sheet has additional professional repairs along the centerfold to several separations and a couple of short tears. The first image is a composite image - the sheet are all separate.

Estimate: $5,000 - $6,000

Sold for: $3,500

Closed on 9/12/2018