BRAUN, Georg (1541-1622) and Frans HOGENBERG (fl. ca 1540-1590). Theatre des Cites du Monde. Cologne: Godfried von Kempen, [ca 1579-1625].
6 volumes in 2, 2° (418 x 290 mm). Text in French. 6 engraved titles each with pasted overslips (except for last volume), 362 (of 363, lacking plate 43 in vol. VI) double-page engraved plans and views (birds-eye view of Antwerp on two joined sheets (with short tear to fold), plans of Rome and Jerusalem on two sheets, COLORED THROUGHOUT BY A CONTEMPORARY HAND. (Some occasional light staining, a few leaves with marginal tears, vol. I plate 34 stained, first and fourth titles and first few leaves of vol. I with margins or corners renewed, vol. V plate II with small hole, vol VI plate 44 fore-margins of plate trimmed). Contemporary vellum gilt-stamped with central arabesque, large cornerpieces and roll-tooled frame, edges gilt (some light staining).
A FINELY COLORED FRENCH EDITION OF THE CELEBRATED BRAUN HOGENBERG TOWN BOOKS IN A CONTEMPORARY VELLUM BINDING. This is the first systematic city atlas containing 564 plans, bird’s-eye views, and maps of all major European cities, as well as important Asia, Africa, and South-America cities. The text was written by Georg Braun of Cologne, the engraving of the plans executed by Frans Hogenberg and Simon Novellanus. Braun and Hogenberg relied on existing maps, but also on maps made after drawings by the Antwerp artist Joris Hoefnagel (1542-1600), who had travelled through most of Western Europe. After Joris Hoefnagel's death his son Jakob continued the work for the Civitates. Another important source for maps was the Danish cartographer Heinrich van Rantzau (1526-1599), better known under his Latin name Rantzovius, who provided maps of Northern Europe, specially of Danish cities. Other sources were unpublished works of Jacob van Deventer (1505-1575), also known as Jacob Roelofsz, and of over a hundred other artists and engravers. Koeman describes the French and German editions as scarce, the title slips for these editions being pasted over the engraved Latin title. “The Civitates was, like the Theatrum, one of the best-selling works in the last quarter of the 16th century. Although it had no precedent, it immediately answered a great public demand, because social, political and economic life at that time was concentrated in cities…. Because the history of its orgin covers a period of 45 years, the six parts differ widely in printing style, forewords, dedications and privilegio’s. The first imperial privilege is dated 28 August 1572; the second: 24 August 1576. A royal privilege is dated 22 November 1574. These privilegio’s figure in all the editions of the various parts, from 1572-1576 to 1617 and later” (Koeman p.11). The order of the maps in this copy corresponds with the descriptions of Koeman for the Latin editions, the text impositions vary. Koeman B & H 13-16.