Catalog Archive
Auction 184, Lot 607

"Turcici Imperii Descriptio", Ortelius, Abraham

Subject: Eastern Mediterranean & Middle East

Period: 1595 (published)

Publication: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum

Color: Hand Color

19.4 x 14.6 inches
49.3 x 37.1 cm
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This is Ortelius' second map of the Turkish Empire, based on Ortelius' own map of Asia, which was derived from the work of Italian mapmaker Giacomo Gastaldi of 1561. It features the Arabian Peninsula prominently and illustrates the coastlines fairly well but most of the interior information is completely hypothetical with many place names taken from antiquity and legend. The Red Sea (Mare de Mecca) is shown relatively accurately whereas the Persian Gulf (Mare Elcatif) is misshapen due to the exaggerated Arabian shoreline. The map is richly embellished with sailing ships, a sea monster in the Black Sea, and a superb, strapwork title cartouche topped by cherubs and supported by a pair of female, winged sea monsters. Latin text on verso.

References: Ankary #15; Tibbetts #42; Van den Broecke #169.

Condition: B

Full contemporary color with moderate toning and soiling, light damp stains along the bottom edge of the sheet, and a short centerfold separation at top.

Estimate: $400 - $475

Sold for: $300

Closed on 9/15/2021