ORTELIUS, Abraham (1527-1598). Autograph letter signed ('Abrah. Ortelius') to his nephew, Jacob Cool [Jacobus Colius], Antwerp, 2 February 1595, in Latin, one page, folio, integral address panel; with a translation.
ON BOOKS, NUMISMATICS AND THE COLOURING OF A THEATRUM. Ortelius expresses his delight that his nephew is well in body, and reasonably so in spirits: for himself, it is the other way round ('ego animo melius quam corpore'), but it was ever thus. He refers in passing to the forthcoming second edition of Jacob Monau's compilation of epigrams, Symbolum 'ipse faciet', which has been promised for several Frankfurt book fairs past, but in vain ('preteriere iam Nundinae Francofordienses plures, quibus singulis hoc promiserit. Sed frustra'), and complains that having given Morau a work by the Augsburg numismatist Adolph Occo he has received not so much as a single coin in return: 'Nothing: not even a word about coins. Those places [i.e. Breslau] are barren of coins: no doubt strikers of coins never went there'. He is most willing to have the portrait in the Theatrum coloured for his nephew, as he desires, but if Cool wishes to have the whole work coloured, it will be at his own expense. The letter goes on to refer to the Frankfurt publisher Nicolaeus Bassaeus, who is being slow to publish Cool's botanical work Syntagma herbarum encomiasticum (eventually published in Leiden in 1606), and concludes with a recommendation of a book by the Neapolitan polymath Giambattista della Porta.
Ortelius's nephew, Jacob Cool (1563-1628) was a member of the Dutch-Walloon refugee community in London, and followed his father's trade as a cloth merchant in Lime Street, whilst pursuing a wide range of scholarly interests and contacts. At his death he left a significant library and collections of prints, statues, coins and medals, much of which he had inherited from Ortelius.