AITZING, Michael von (1530-98, Freiherr). Novus de Leone Belgico eiusque topographica atque historica descriptione liber. Cologne: Gerhard Kempen for Franz Hogenberg, .
Chancery 2o (275 x 205 mm). Engraved architectural and pictorial title dated 1588, engraved author's portrait, large engraved map of the Low Countries in the shape of a lion (folded, two small repairs), double-page engraved medallion portraits of Philip II, the Duke of Alba, John of Austria, Alessandro Farnese, Luis de Zuñiga y Requesens, Margaret of Parma and Archduke Ernest of Austria, and 237 double-page engraved views by Hogenberg, showing towns, battles, sea battles, sieges, executions, tournaments, assemblies, etc. (A few creases and stains.)
ANTWERP BINDING, dated 1597: polished brown calf, decorated in gold, roll-tooled foliate border on sides, azured arabesques blocked in the corners, large shaped arabesque blocked in the center containing the emblematic figure of Justice on front cover, Fortune on back cover, spine tooled in compartments, date lettered in top compartment, cable roll on turn-ins, gilt edges, "Michael Eijzinger Hist" lettered in ink on bottom edges, 18th-century endpapers, (bottom right corner of front cover slightly defective, some repair to binding edges and joints, ties gone). Provenance: Bought from Harry A. Levinson in March 1954.
Aitsinger's map of the Northern and Southern Netherlands, illustrating his comprehensive account of the run-up to and the first decades of the Dutch 80-years' struggle for independence from the Spanish Crown, is the FIRST LEO BELGICUS, a cartographic interpretation of the Dutch Lion. It was originally published in the first edition of 1583, repeated in all subsequent ones, and widely imitated by cartographers in later Dutch histories and atlases. The binding design of heavy arabesque center and corner-pieces, which had to be blocked in a press rather than tooled by hand, seems to have originated in Paris c. 1560 and was soon adopted by craftsmen in Lyons, Geneva, London and Antwerp.