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    [London]. Georg Braun and Franz Hogenberg. Londinum, feracissimi Angliae Regni metropolis. [Cologne: after 1572]. Hand-colored double-page engraved map. Plate size: 13.125 x 19.25 inches; 333 x 489 mm. Sheet size: 15.875 x 20.5 inches; 405 x 522 mm. Vertical centerfold. Text on verso in French. Hand-colored woodcut initial on verso. Some marginal foxing or spotting; centerfold strengthened on verso; some color bleedthrough to verso. Matted (matte size: 20 x 26.25 inches; 508 x 667 mm.).

    "The volume opens with a magnificent plan view of London seen from a bird's-eye perspective and reproduces the city as it looked around 1550, as can be seen e.g. from the fact that St Paul's cathedral (on the centrefold) is depicted with a tall spire, which was destroyed in 1561. The royal barge can be seen on the Thames in the very centre of the picture. Establishing itself on the south bank of the river is the new district of Southwark, which would officially become part of London after 1550: visible near the centrefold are the theatres, or more specifically arenas, in which bull and bear fights were staged. Shown on a magnified scale in the foreground are four people in contemporary dress standing on a fictive grassy hillock, as it were, enjoying an idealized view of the city. They embody the English fashion of the first half of the 16th century; the men and women, although they belong to different social classes, continue to wear high, closed ruffs, something that changed towards the end of the century. Today London is the capital of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and has a population of over seven million" (Füssel).

    Georg Braun and Franz Hogenberg, Civitates Orbis Terrarum. Cities of the World: Complete Edition of the Colour Plates of 1572-1627, Edited by Stephan Füssel ([Cologne]: Taschen, [2017]), pp. 46/47 (map) and 50 (description). Darlington & Howgego, no. 2; Koeman 2433.

    More Information: Füssel gives translations of the map cartouches:

    Title cartouche at upper center: "London, exceptionally fast-growing English royal city."

    Cartouche at lower left: "London, king of all the cities in England, situated on the River Thames. Caesar, so it is said, called it Trinobantum, it is famed amongst many peoples for commerce, adorned with houses and churches, distinguished by fortifications, famed for men of all arts and sciences, lastly for its wealth in all things. Goods from all over the world are brought hither on the Thames, as it is navigable for 60,000 paces at high tide."
    Cartouche at lower right: "STILLIARDS, or, in German, Hanse, a confederation of many cities and communities, established for safe trading on land and sea, lastly for tranquillity [sic] and peace in public affairs and for the honourable education of the young. Granted privileges and concessions most of all by the rulers of England, France, Denmark and Great Moscow, also of Flanders and Brabant. It has four markets, called counting houses by some, in which the merchants reside and conduct their business. One of these is salient here in London for domestic trade, namely the Teutonic Guildhall, common known as Stilliard."

    "The Civitates orbis terrarum or the Braun & Hogenberg', published in six volumes in Cologne between 1572 and 1617, is the most famous of the early town atlases. Although it had no comparable precedent, it immediately answered a great public demand, because social, political and economic life at that time was concentrated in the cities. Apart from that, the pictorial style of the plans and views appealed very much to the uneducated public. Each of the six volumes is a distinct entity, containing plans of towns of the whole of Europe (and sometimes also of towns outside Europe). When a more recent plan of a town was acquired, it was included in one of the later volumes without changing the contents of the earlier volume...This paper discusses the choice of towns depicted and the distribution of these towns in Europe, the way the towns were depicted (plan, bird's-eye view, profile, landscape) and the information text given on the towns" (Abstract of Peter Van der Krogt, "Mapping the towns of Europe: The European towns in Braun & Hogenberg's Town Atlas, 1572-1617," in Belgeo: Revue belge de géographie 3-4 (2008), pp. 371-398, online at ).

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2019
    5th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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