Catalog Archive
Auction 181, Lot 412

"Londinum Feracis: Ang. Met.", Munster, Sebastian

Subject: London, England

Period: 1614 (published)

Publication: Cosmographey

Color: Black & White

14.3 x 8.9 inches
36.3 x 22.6 cm

Sebastian Munster (1489 - 1552) was one of the three most renowned cartographers of the sixteenth century, along with Mercator and Ortelius. Munster's Geographia and Cosmographia Universalis were two of the most widely read and influential books of the period. His editions of Ptolemy's Geographia, published between 1540 and 1552, were illustrated with 48 woodcut maps, the standard 27 Ptolemaic maps supplemented by 21 new maps. These new maps included a separate map of each of the known continents and marked the development of regional cartography in Central Europe. The antique geography was a prelude to Munster's major work, the Cosmographia, which was published in nearly 30 editions in six languages between 1544 and 1578 and then was revised and reissued by Sebastian Petri from 1588 to 1628. The Cosmographia was a geographical as well as historical and ethnographic description of the world. It contained the maps from the Geographia plus additional regional maps and city views with nearly 500 illustrations which made it one of the most popular pictorial encyclopedias of the sixteen century.

This bird's-eye view of London only appeared in the later editions of the Cosmographia. It was based on the Braun & Hogenberg view and depicts the area between Clerkenwell, Wapping, Southwark and Westminster Abbey. Large coats of arms grace the upper corners and text blocks in the lower corners describe the city gates. A variety of ships and boats fill the Thames, representing the economic importance of the city. Two couples in the foreground display the customary dress of the period. German text below and on verso.

References: Howgego #6.

Condition: A

Light show-through of text on verso with two small holes in the top and bottom blank margins. There is light toning and soiling along the edges of the sheet and remnants of hinge tape on verso.

Estimate: $1,200 - $1,500

Sold for: $1,000

Closed on 2/10/2021