19 November 2003
BRAUN, Georg (1541-1622) and Frans HOGENBERG (1535-1590). Civitates Orbis Terrarum. Cologne: G. von Kempen, -1588.
3 parts (of 6) in 2 volumes, 2° (423 x 285mm and 406 x 278mm). Text in Latin. Three engraved architectural and allegorical titles, 175 engraved double-page town plans and views, text on versos, woodcut initials, mounted on guards throughout, Part II with additional manuscript index in a 17th-century hand. (Some light browning, occasional minor spotting or staining, title to Part III worn and detached, worming at folds to a number of maps, map 59 with short tear touching image.) Modern vellum (first volume) and 18th-century vellum (second) (wear to pastedowns). Provenance: title to Part III with explanatory inscriptions of deities in a 17th-century hand -- Biblioteca Hulssiane (17th-century inscription, with shelfmarks, on final verso).
Parts II, III and IV of Braun and Hogenberg's town books, the 'earliest systematic city atlas' (Koeman) and 'one of the great books of the world' (Tooley). These early Latin editions form a composite group of 175 views and plans of the principal cities of northern and southern Europe. One of the great cartographical achievements of the 16th century, the Civitates drew upon the skills of accomplished topographical artists, such as Jacob van Deventer and Georg Hoefnagel. Koeman II, B & H 2, 3, 4. (2)
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