Catalog Archive
Auction 182, Lot 553

"Decem et Tria Loca Confoederatorum Helvetiae", Braun & Hogenberg

Subject: Cities in Switzerland

Period: 1572 (circa)

Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, Vol. I

Color: Hand Color

18.3 x 14.4 inches
46.5 x 36.6 cm
Download High Resolution Image
(or just click on image to launch the Zoom viewer)

Braun & Hogenberg's Civitates Orbis Terrarum or "Cities of the World" was published between 1572 and 1617. Within the six volumes, 531 towns and cities were depicted on 363 plates, providing the reader with the pleasures of travel without the attendant discomforts. Braun wrote in the preface to the third book, "What could be more pleasant than, in one's own home far from all danger, to gaze in these books at the universal form of the earth . . . adorned with the splendor of cities and fortresses and, by looking at pictures and reading the texts accompanying them, to acquire knowledge which could scarcely be had but by long and difficult journeys?" Braun and Hogenberg incorporated an astonishing wealth of information into each scene beyond the city layout and important buildings. The plates provide an impression of the economy and prominent occupations, and illustrate local costumes, manners and customs.

This sheet contains bird's-eye views of the 13 Swiss cantons that served as a single alliance known as the Old Swiss Confederation. The cantons joined forces between 1291 and 1512, and the year in which each canton joined the alliance is indicated adjacent to the title of each view. The thirteen cities depicted are (in order): Schwyz, Unterwalden, Zug, Glarus, Basel, Zurich, Bern, Lucerne, Uri, Fribourg, Solothurn, Schaffhausen and Appenzell. Latin text on verso.

References: Fussel, pp. 92-94.

Condition: B+

Full contemporary color with light offsetting and toning, a tiny hole in the Zug view, and some printer's ink residue. A short centerfold separation at bottom has been closed on verso with archival tape.

Estimate: $500 - $650

Sold for: $375

Closed on 4/28/2021