Catalog Archive
Auction 181, Lot 393

Unique Fold-Out Map from First Pocket-Sized Atlas

"Europae", Ortelius/Galle

Subject: Europe

Period: 1579 (published)

Publication: Le Miroir du Monde

Color: Hand Color

8.4 x 6.3 inches
21.3 x 16 cm

This is a reduced-sized edition of Ortelius' map of the continent, and includes an incredible number of place names considering its small size. Galle copied the geographic features and most of the decorative elements. The map extends to include Iceland and part of Greenland, and there is a tiny bit of Labrador intruding into the map at upper left. It also extends into western Asia and Northern Africa based on Gastaldi's cartography. The stippled sea, compass rose, tent encampment in Russia, and sailing ship near Spain are copied from Ortelius' map, however Galle has added a second ship, two sea monsters, and an updated title cartouche featuring a candle and two birds. French text on verso.

This map is from the first pocket-sized atlas, Spieghel der Wereld, which was based on Ortelius' Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. The maps were engraved on copper by Filips Galle and represented all regions around the world. The maps were accompanied by text prepared by Peter Heyns, who used the text from the Theatrum. The numbers printed above the maps, adjacent to the letterpress title, indicate the number of the map within the Theatrum. This innovative, small atlas was designed to reach the lower middle class, and was a commercial success, prompting numerous reprints and imitations. The first edition of the Spieghel der Wereld was published in 1577, with subsequent editions published in French in 1579 and 1583, Dutch in 1583 and 1596, and Latin in 1585. One unique feature of this pocket atlas was the inclusion of 6 larger, fold-out maps of the world, Europe, France, Germania, the Low Countries and Italy that were included alongside 66 miniature maps.

References: King (2nd Ed.) pp. 60-61; Van der Krogt (Vol. III) #1000:331.

Condition: A

A crisp impression on a bright sheet with professional repairs to a few tiny worm tracks along the centerfold and in the bottom corners of the sheet. Remargined at top along the binding edge.

Estimate: $350 - $450

Sold for: $250

Closed on 2/10/2021