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Maps by Abraham Ortelius

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Following the death of their father, Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598) and his sisters became map illuminators or colourists; and Ortelius also dabbled in buying and selling general antiques. From 1558 onwards, he is recorded as purchasing multiple copies of maps in order to colour them, but also began building up a large personal collection.

Ortelius was certainly the “man for the moment” whose interest in history and the classics translated itself into his maps of the ancient world and, through his draughtsmanship and cartographic skills, the production of his maps of the modern, emerging world. His life spanned a period of dramatic European history and the cultural enlightenment of the late Renaissance, while his friendship with the great Gerard Mercator, and other connections with like-minded geographers, historians and academics around Europe, provided the raw material for one of the landmarks of cartographic history.

From about 1560, possibly as a result of his friendship with Mercator, Ortelius began to produce maps - an eight sheet world map being the earliest. At this time, Ortelius also began preparing his greatest project, the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. Having already become probably the greatest cartographic bibliographer of the period, Ortelius was able to prepare 53 map sheets based on the most up-to-date information, which were engraved by Frans Hogenberg, and first published in 1570.

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.  Between 1570 and 1641 (the publication of the last recognised edition of the Theatrum …) few competing volumes appeared and the atlas was able to expand from its original 53 maps to over 160. 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. Marcel Van Den Broecke, whose fascinating work on Ortelius and his maps is often quoted, estimates that around 7300 complete atlases were published using a total of 234 copperplates, either replacements or reworkings as plates became out-dated, worn, or as new information became available. Amongst this latter category, the maps added in the 1580’s and 90’s of the world, the Americas, China, the Pacific, Japan, Peru and Florida, and Iceland are important historically and justly famous.The maps themselves are finely engraved, often very decorative and generally found with text on the reverse.

After Ortelius’ death in 1598 the atlas continued to be printed and published by the Plantin Press. Between 1602 and 1609 it was published by Johann Baptist Vrients, who added a variety of fine maps including the very decorative large plates of England and Wales, and of Ireland. Publication reverted to the Plantin Press, under the control of the Moretus brothers, from 1612.

Although only the relatively unsuccessful atlases of De Jode and, ultimately, Mercator were published during the sixteenth century life of the Theatrum …, in 1607 Jodocus Hondius’s issue of Mercator’s Atlas ... with many newly prepared maps began to supersede Ortelius’ work.
 

World Maps   Europe Maps   Africa Maps   Asia Maps   America Maps   British Isles Maps  

World Maps

Typus Orbis Terrarum
Typus Orbis Terrarum

By A. Ortelius / P. Galle of Antwerp, 1588-, copperplate, original colour, 80 by 110mm (3.25 by 4.25 inches). mm

Ref: 43352

Price: £ 500£ 350

Typus Orbis Terrarum
Typus Orbis Terrarum

By A. Ortelius / P. Marchetti of Brescia, 1598 - 1677, copperplate, coloured, 75 by 105mm (3 by 4.25 inches). mm

Ref: 43355

Price: £ 220£ 154

Europe Maps

Hispalensis Conventvs Delineatio
Hispalensis Conventvs Delineatio

By A.Ortelius of Antwerp, 1579-1612, Copperplate, coloured, 510 x 340 mm

Ref: 34256

Price: £ 480£ 336

Malta Olim Melita Insula
Malta Olim Melita Insula

By A. Ortelius / P. Galle of Antwerp, 1577-, copperplate, coloured, 80 by 105mm (3.25 by 4.25 inches). mm

Ref: 43146

Price: £ 300£ 210

Andegaven Sivm Ditio Nis Vera Et Integra Descripto
Andegaven Sivm Ditio Nis Vera Et Integra Descripto

By A.Ortelius of Antwerp, 1579-1612, Copperplate, coloured, 360 x 470 mm

Ref: 34806

Price: £ 320£ 224

Caletensium ... / Veromanduorum Eorum ...
Caletensium ... / Veromanduorum Eorum ...

By A.Ortelius of Antwerp, 1570, copperplate, coloured, 330 x 480 mm

Ref: 37856

Price: £ 300£ 210

Galliae Narbonenesis Ora Maritima ... / Sabaudiae, Et Burgundiae
Galliae Narbonenesis Ora Maritima ... / Sabaudiae, Et Burgundiae

By A.Ortelius of Antwerp, 1570, copperplate, coloured, 295 x 445 mm

Ref: 37857

Price: £ 450£ 315

Regionis Biturgium Exactiss: ... / Limaniae Topogrphiae ...
Regionis Biturgium Exactiss: ... / Limaniae Topogrphiae ...

By A.Ortelius of Antwerp, 1570, copperplate, coloured, 310 x 480 mm

Ref: 37858

Price: £ 240£ 168

Frisiae Occidentalis
Frisiae Occidentalis

By A. Ortelius of Antwerp, 1579, copperplate, uncoloured, 360 by 485mm (14¼ by 19 inches). mm

Ref: 17196

Price: £ 400£ 280

Nobilis Hannoniae Comitatus Descrip
Nobilis Hannoniae Comitatus Descrip

By A. Ortelius of Antwerp, 1579, copperplate, uncoloured, 370 by 490mm (14½ by 19¼ inches). mm

Ref: 17201

Price: £ 260£ 182

Atrebatum Regio Nis Vera Descriptio
Atrebatum Regio Nis Vera Descriptio

By A. Ortelius of Antwerp, 1595-1612, copperplate, uncoloured, 360 by 470mm (14.25 by 18.5 inches). mm

Ref: 35083

Price: £ 160£ 112

Bavaria Olim Vindeliciae Delineationis Compendium
Bavaria Olim Vindeliciae Delineationis Compendium

By A.Ortelius of Antwerp, 1573 -1579, copperplate, uncoloured, 380 x 485 mm

Ref: 17180

Price: £ 400£ 280

Braunsuicensis Et Luneburgen ... / Norimberg ...
Braunsuicensis Et Luneburgen ... / Norimberg ...

By A.Ortelius of Antwerp, 1590-1612, Copperplate, coloured, 310 x 480 mm

Ref: 35094

Price: £ 300£ 210

Franciae Orientalis ... / Monasteriensis Et Osnaburgensis
Franciae Orientalis ... / Monasteriensis Et Osnaburgensis

By A.Ortelius of Antwerp, 1570-1612, Copperplate, coloured, 370 x 510 mm

Ref: 35096

Price: £ 300£ 210

Pomeraniae ... Typ. / Livoniae Descriptio / Ducatus Oswieczensis
Pomeraniae ... Typ. / Livoniae Descriptio / Ducatus Oswieczensis

By A. Ortelius of Antwerp, 1573-1606, copperplate, original colour, 450 by 576mm (17.75 by 22.75 inches). mm

Ref: 41335

Price: £ 400£ 280

Helvetiae Descriptio
Helvetiae Descriptio

By A. Ortelius of Antwerp, 1570-1612, copperplate, uncoloured, 340 by 450mm (13½ by 17¾ inches). mm

Ref: 34156

Price: £ 1000£ 700

Basiliensis Territorii Descriptio Nova
Basiliensis Territorii Descriptio Nova

By A. Ortelius of Antwerp, 1573 - 1595, copperplate, original colour, 320 by 250mm (12.5 by 9.75 inches). mm

Ref: 43138

Price: £ 260£ 182

Patavini Territorii Corographia ...
Patavini Territorii Corographia ...

By A.Ortelius of Antwerp, 1573-1574, Copperplate, coloured, 310 x 200 mm

Ref: 10777

Price: £ 380£ 266

Senensis Dictionis .../ Corsica / Marcha Anconae, Olim Picenum
Senensis Dictionis .../ Corsica / Marcha Anconae, Olim Picenum

By A.Ortelius of Antwerp, 1573-1612, copperplate, coloured, 325 x 485 mm

Ref: 34317

Price: £ 450£ 315

Salisburgensis Ivrisdictionis...
Salisburgensis Ivrisdictionis...

By A.Ortelius of Antwerp, 1592-1612, Copperplate, uncoloured, 510 x 340 mm

Ref: 34267

Price: £ 340£ 238

Rhetiae Alpestris ... Tirolis Comitatus / Goritiae, Karstii ...
Rhetiae Alpestris ... Tirolis Comitatus / Goritiae, Karstii ...

By A. Ortelius of Antwerp, 1573-1606, copperplate, original colour, 455 by 580mm (18 by 22.75 inches). mm

Ref: 41333

Price: £ 450£ 315

Carinthiae Dvcatvs ... / Histriae ... / Zarae ...
Carinthiae Dvcatvs ... / Histriae ... / Zarae ...

By A. Ortelius of Antwerp, 1573-1606, copperplate, original colour, 450 by 574mm (17.75 by 22.5 inches). mm

Ref: 41336

Price: £ 400£ 280

Illyricum
Illyricum

By A. Ortelius of Antwerp, 1573-1606, copperplate, original colour, 450 by 580mm (17.75 by 22.75 inches). mm

Ref: 41337

Price: £ 500£ 350

Graeciae Universae Secundum Hodiernum ...
Graeciae Universae Secundum Hodiernum ...

By A. Ortelius of Antwerp, 1570 - 1592, copperplate, coloured, 365 by 510mm (14.25 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 41769

Price: £ 620£ 434

Africa Maps

Barbariae Et Biledvlgerid Nova Descriptio
Barbariae Et Biledvlgerid Nova Descriptio

By A. Ortelius of Antwerp, 1570 - 1598, copperplate, coloured, 510 by 340mm (20 by 13.5 inches). mm

Ref: 43440

Price: £ 600£ 420

Acores Insulae
Acores Insulae

By A.Ortelius of Antwerp, 1584-1612, copperplate, uncoloured, 330 x 460 mm

Ref: 34130

Price: £ 600£ 420

Asia Maps

Persici Sive Sophorum Regni Typus
Persici Sive Sophorum Regni Typus

By A.Ortelius of Antwerp, 1570-1612, copperplate, coloured, 350 x 490 mm

Ref: 34140

Price: £ 700£ 490

Natoliae ... / Aegypti ... / Carthaginis
Natoliae ... / Aegypti ... / Carthaginis

By A.Ortelius of Antwerp, 1570, copperplate, coloured, 320 x 490 mm

Ref: 37845

Price: £ 500£ 350

Erythraei Sive Rubri Mari Periplus ...
Erythraei Sive Rubri Mari Periplus ...

By A. Ortelius of London, 1598-1608, copperplate, coloured, 360 by 460mm (14.25 by 18 inches). mm

Ref: 40124

Price: £ 1250£ 875

Natoliae Quae Olim Asia Minor, Nova Descriptio
Natoliae Quae Olim Asia Minor, Nova Descriptio

By A. Ortelius of Antwerp, 1573-1606, copperplate, original colour, 450 by 570mm (17.75 by 22.5 inches). mm

Ref: 41334

Price: £ 480£ 336

Turcici Imperii Descriptio ...
Turcici Imperii Descriptio ...

By A. Ortelius of Antwerp, 1579-1595-, Copperplate, coloured, 375 by 500mm (14.75 by 19.75 inches). mm

Ref: 43047

Price: £ 1250£ 875

Tartariae Sive Magni Chami Regni
Tartariae Sive Magni Chami Regni

By A. Ortelius of Antwerp, 1570-1612, copperplate, coloured, 350 by 465mm (13.75 by 18.25 inches). mm

Ref: 34150

Price: £ 1600£ 1120

Indiae Orientalis, Insularumque Adiacentium Typus
Indiae Orientalis, Insularumque Adiacentium Typus

By A. Ortelius of Antwerp, 1570-1606, copperplate, coloured, 350 by 500mm (13.75 by 19.75 inches). mm

Ref: 42940

Price: £ 3200£ 2240

America Maps

Peruviae / La Florida / Guastecan Regio
Peruviae / La Florida / Guastecan Regio

By A. Ortelius of Antwerp, 1584-1612, Copperplate, coloured, 340 by 465mm (13.5 by 18.25 inches). mm

Ref: 34134

Price: £ 2200£ 1540

British Isles Maps

Anglia
Anglia

By A. Ortelius / M. Coignet of Antwerp, 1601, copperplate, uncoloured, 80 by 110mm (3.25 by 4.25 inches). mm

Ref: 43197

Price: £ 250£ 175

Inghilterra
Inghilterra

By A. Ortelius / P. Galle of Antwerp, 1577 - 1593, copperplate, uncoloured, 80 by 110mm (3.25 by 4.25 inches). mm

Ref: 43198

Price: £ 280£ 196

Anglia
Anglia

By A. Ortelius / P. Galle of Antwerp, 1577 - 1589, copperplate, uncoloured, 80 by 110mm (3.25 by 4.25 inches). mm

Ref: 43199

Price: £ 260£ 182