Catalog Archive
Auction 190, Lot 663

"De Praecipuis, Totius Universi Urbibus, Liber Secundus", Braun & Hogenberg

Subject: Title Pages

Period: 1575 (circa)

Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum

Color: Hand Color

9.1 x 13.8 inches
23.1 x 35.1 cm
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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.

Fine title page from the second volume of this monumental work. The title is engraved onto a strapwork cartouche within an architectural surround. Several figures from Roman mythology fill the sheet including Penates (patron god of the storeroom), Lares (guardian spirit of house and fields), Cybele (the goddess of nature and fertility), and the goddesses of religion and politics.

References: Van der Krogt (Vol. IV) #41:2.

Condition: B+

Light toning, scattered foxing, and small remnants of hinge tape on verso.

Estimate: $275 - $350

Sold for: $200

Closed on 11/16/2022