• Valuable Printed Books and Man auction at Christies

    Sale 5334

    Valuable Printed Books and Manuscripts

    13 June 2012, London, King Street

  • Lot 73

    ORTELIUS -- BAIF, Lazare de (d. 1547). Annotationes in L.II. De captivis & postliminio reversis; in quibus tractatur de re navali, and other texts. Paris: Robertus Stephanus, 1549.

    Price Realised  

    ORTELIUS -- BAIF, Lazare de (d. 1547). Annotationes in L.II. De captivis & postliminio reversis; in quibus tractatur de re navali, and other texts. Paris: Robertus Stephanus, 1549.

    4° (213 x 146mm). Greek, roman and italic types. Woodcut illustrations, woodcut initials from several sets, printer's device on title. (Small light stain in lower margins.) 18th-century mottled calf, red edges (rebacked, rubbed, a little worn at corners); modern slipcase. Provenance: Abraham Ortelius (title signature) -- a few annotations in several hands, one of which could be Ortelius' (pp.47, 80, 91, 147) -- M.B. (bookplate) -- modern ink stamp inventory number.

    ORTELIUS' COPY of Baif's work on shipping in the ancient world. One of the most famous cartographers of all time, Ortelius was also a Renaissance humanist, collector of pictures and coins, and dealer in books and prints. It was at the Frankfurt book fair in 1554 where he met Gerard Mercator. His library has been little studied; a portion was later acquired by Bishop John Moore and today is in Cambridge University Library, and others were given to the Plantin family. The appeal to Ortelius of Baif's work on shipping in the ancient world is natural, and if the few neat annotations are indeed his, they show his close, intelligent reading of the text. The present is the second Estienne edition and also includes works on ancient dress and vases and Telesio's De coloribus, the first published monograph on colours. Cf. Abraham Ortelius 1527-98, cartographe et humaniste (Museé Plantin-Moretus, 1998), M. van den Broecke, P. van der Krogt and P. Meurer, Abraham Ortelius and the first atlas, 1998. Adams B-37; Schreiber 53 (1536 ed.).


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