Catalog Archive
Auction 174, Lot 5

Features Two Different Sizes of the Leo Belgicus

"De Bello Belgico [and] Novus XVII. Inferioris Germaniae Provinciarum [bound in] [2 Volumes] Famiani Stradae Romani e Societate Jesu de Bello Belgico...", Strada, Famiamo, S.J.

Subject: Title Pages, Low Countries

Period: 1653-58 (published)


Color: Black & White

2.7 x 4.9 inches
6.9 x 12.4 cm
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This lot contains two example of one of the most famous of all cartographic curiosities, the Leo Belgicus, in which the Low Countries were depicted in the form of a lion. This curious form of cartography is one of the high points in the Golden Age of mapmaking. These two small examples are based on the original 1583 Aitsinger form with the lion standing facing right with a paw raised and holding a shield. The first volume contains the larger, scarcer Leo entitled Novus XVII. Inferioris Germaniae Provinciarum (5.2 x 7.1"), while the second contains one of the smallest of all the Leos, De Bello Belgico, (2.7 x 4.9"). Written by Famianus Strada, a Jesuit and teacher at the Collegium Romanum in Rome, these volumes presented a pro-Spanish and pro-Catholic view on the Dutch War of Independence. Each volume includes numerous portraits, while the first volume also includes a frontispiece. The first volume contains 520 pages and an index; the second consists of 642 pages and an index. 12mo., hardbound in full leather with raised bands and gilt tooling on spine.

References: Tooley (MCC-7) #30 & #31.

Condition: B

First volume: This larger Leo has a nice dark impression with two small worm tracks adjacent to the tail and back paw. The text is mostly clean with worm tracks present in approximately both the first and last 100 pages. The front hinge is starting, the covers have some small abrasions, and the spine is chipped at bottom. Second volume: This smaller Leo has faint scattered foxing, but is otherwise very good. After the first 70 pages, the text is moderately to heavily toned. There are light abrasions to the covers and there is some minor worming on the spine.

Estimate: $900 - $1,100

Sold for: $650

Closed on 9/11/2019