Catalog Archive
Auction 179, Lot 821

"De Bello Belgico [bound in] [2 Volumes] Famiani Stradae Romani e Societate Iesu de Bello Belgico...", Strada, Famiamo, S.J.

Subject: Title Pages, Low Countries

Period: 1637-48 (published)


Color: Black & White

2.7 x 4.9 inches
6.9 x 12.4 cm
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This lot contains 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. This two-volume set includes one of the smallest of all the Leos, De Bello Belgico, (2.7 x 4.9") as the frontispiece to the second volume. The Leo Belgicus is based on the original 1583 Aitsinger form with the lion standing facing right with a paw raised and holding a shield. 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 featuring Minerva holding weapons and a shield with several flags behind her. The first volume contains 724 pages and an index; the second consists of 642 pages and an index. 24mo.; hardbound in full leather with gilt embossing on covers and spine and metal clasps. All edges gilt (a.e.g.).

References: Tooley (MCC-7) #28.

Condition: B+

The Leo Belgicus is lightly soiled and trimmed to the neatline at bottom by the bookbinder. The portraits and text are generally clean and bright, with minor occasional soiling. The front hinges on both volumes are nearly perished. The covers have bumped corners and some chips and abrasions. The spines are heavily worn and cracked with chips and abrasions. The metal clasps are still intact and working. There are bookplates from previous owners pasted on both the front and back pastedowns - Edwin Wilkins Field, a prominent English lawyer, and William Salloch, a founding member of the ABAA.

Estimate: $750 - $900

Sold for: $550

Closed on 9/16/2020