Catalog Archive
Auction 174, Lot 55

Bohemia as a Rose

"Bohemiae Rosa Omnibus Saeculis Cruenta...",

Subject: Cartographic Miscellany, Bohemia

Period: 1677 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

10.3 x 15.3 inches
26.2 x 38.9 cm
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This stunning map of Bohemia is in the shape of a rose, with Prague centered on the pistil. The flower grows from Vienna, which is positioned at the base of the stem, and several leaves represent the surrounding regions of Austria, Moravia, Bavaria, Silesia and Misnia. Geographically, Vienna and the leaves do not connect directly to the rose, and rather should fit atop the rose at right, as the compass orients north to the top right of the sheet. The various regions in Bohemia are numbered within the map and listed below the flower. Above the flower are a crown, the Latin motto "Lustitia et Pietate" (Through Justice and Piety), and the Bohemian coat of arms. The rose was a common symbol in Bohemia, as several prominent families used roses as their house emblem. The map was created as propaganda in favor of Habsburg rule, as evidenced by several elements on the map. The motto extending over the rose was that of Leopold I, the Holy Roman Emperor, Archduke of Austria and King of Bohemia. At the time, Vienna was the seat of power of the Habsburg dynasty, which is clearly illustrated as the roots of the rose. Additionally, while the title notes the 80 battles that were fought in Bohemia, the poem at bottom left alludes to the benefits of Habsburg rule in protecting Bohemia from future wars. Drawn by Christian Vetter and engraved by Wolfgang Kilian for Jesuit Bohuslav Balbinus' early history on Bohemia, Epitome Historica Rerum Bohemicarum, in 1677.

References: Baynton-Williams, pp. 56-57; Hoppen #34.

Condition: A

Issued folding and now flattened, with the binding trim at left professionally replaced with old paper, and minor marginal soiling.

Estimate: $1,600 - $2,000

Sold for: $1,500

Closed on 9/11/2019