Antique Maps, Charts, Plans, Atlases, Globes and Reference Books

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Helvetiae Descriptio ...

Helvetiae Descriptio ... : A. Ortelius

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The rare and important first edition of Ortelius' first atlas map of Switzerland. The atlas achieved instant fame as "the world's first regularly produced atlas" (Skelton), being the first atlas with maps prepared to a uniform format. It was also an immediate commercial success, being reprinted four times in 1570. Over 30 different editions, with text in Latin, French, Dutch, German, Italian, English or Spanish, testify to the popularity and esteem attributed to the work. With attractive old (perhaps not original) colour, Ortelius based this map on one by Aegidius Tschudi, unusually, oriented with north to the bottom of the sheet. It is estimated that only 225 examples of this first edition were printed - how many have survived almost 450 years and may become available on the market will be a tiny fraction of that number.
mapmaker: A. Ortelius  
place and date of publication: Antwerp 1570
medium and colour: copperplate, Coloured
size in mm: 340 by 450mm (13.5 by 17.75 inches).
ref: 37837
literature: Van Den Broecke, Ortelius Atlas Maps, 115.

Price: £ 1750

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