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Abraham Ortelius

Abraham Ortelius


Abraham Ortelius is perhaps the best known and most frequently collected of all sixteenth-century mapmakers. Ortelius started his career as a map engraver. In 1547 he entered the Antwerp guild of St Luke as afsetter van Karten. His early career was as a business man, and most of his journeys before 1560 were for commercial purposes. In 1560, while traveling with Gerard Mercator to Trier, Lorraine, and Poitiers, he seems to have been attracted, largely by Mercator’s influence, towards a career as a scientific geographer. From that point forward, he devoted himself to the compilation his Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Theatre of the World), which would become the first modern atlas.

In 1564 he completed his “mappemonde", an eight-sheet map of the world. The only extant copy of this great map is in the library of the University of Basle. Ortelius also published a map of Egypt in 1565, a plan of Brittenburg Castle on the coast of the Netherlands, and a map of Asia, prior to 1570.

On May 20, 1570, Ortelius’ Theatrum Orbis Terrarum first appeared in an edition of 53 maps. By the time of his death in 1598, a total of 25 editions were published including editions in Latin, Italian, German, French, and Dutch. Later editions would also be issued in Spanish and English by Ortelius’ successors, Vrients and Plantin, the former adding a number of maps to the atlas, the final edition of which was issued in 1612. Most of the maps in Ortelius Theatrum were drawn from the works of a number of other mapmakers from around the world; a list of 87 authors is given by Ortelius himself

In 1573, Ortelius published seventeen supplementary maps under the title of Additamentum Theatri Orbis Terrarum. In 1575 he was appointed geographer to the king of Spain, Philip II, on the recommendation of Arias Montanus, who vouched for his orthodoxy (his family, as early as 1535, had fallen under suspicion of Protestantism). In 1578 he laid the basis of a critical treatment of ancient geography with his Synonymia geographica (issued by the Plantin press at Antwerp and republished as Thesaurus geographicus in 1596). In 1584 he issued his Nomenclator Ptolemaicus, a Parergon (a series of maps illustrating ancient history, sacred and secular.) Late in life, he also aided Welser in his edition of the Peutinger Table in 1598.



1

1579 - Americae Sive Novi Orbis Nova Descriptio

  • $14.99

Scarce Second State of Abraham Ortelius' Map of the Americas, One of the Most Iconic Maps of the Western Hemisphere Orteliu's map of America is without doubt one of the most recognized and influential maps of the Americas from the sixteenth century...


2

1584 - (World & Continents) Typus Orbis Terrarum / Americae Sive Novi Orbis Nova Descriptio / Asiae Nova Descriptio / Africae Tabula Nova / Europae

  • $21.99

The World & 4 Continents From the First Modern Atlas Early matching set of maps of the World and Continents, from Abraham Ortelius' Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, the first modern World Atlas. Ortelius' Theatrum was perhaps the single most influential...


3

1595 - (World & Continents) Typus Orbis Terrarum / Americae Sive Novi Orbis Nova Descriptio / Asiae Nova Descriptio / Africae Tabula Nova / Europae

  • $21.99

The World & 4 Continents From the First Modern Atlas Early matching set of maps of the World and Continents, from Abraham Ortelius' Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, the first modern World Atlas. Ortelius' Theatrum was perhaps the single most influential...


4

1603 - Maris Pacifici quod vulgo Mar del Zud

  • $14.99

The First Printed Map of the Pacific Ocean Old color example of Ortelius' Maris Pacifici . . . , the first printed map of the Pacific Ocean. Ortelius's Maris Pacifici map was first issued in 1590. The map is based upon Mercator's world map of 1569,...


5

1606 - Americae Sive Novi Orbis Nova Descriptio [English Edition!]

  • $14.99

The English Edition in Full Original Color! Fine old color example of the rare English language edition of Ortelius' map of America. Offered only in 1606 in an edition of 300 copies, the English edition of this map is highly prized among collectors,...


6

1606 - [English Edition!] Maris Pacifici quod vulgo Mar del Zud

  • $14.99

Rare English Edition of The First Map of the Pacific Ocean from the First Modern Atlas Fine example of the English Edition of Ortelius' “Maris Pacifici”, the first stand-alone map of the Pacific ever printed. It was featured in Theatrum Orbis...


7

1570 - Russiae, Moscoviae et Tartariae Descriptio Auctore Antonio Ienkensono Anglo edita Londini 1562 & dedicata illustriss D. Henrico Sydneo Wallie presidi.

  • $14.99

One of the Earliest Modern Maps of Russia Striking map of Russia, based upon Anthony Jenkinson's rare map of Russia drawn in 1562. The map covers the region from the Gulf of Finland, Lithuania and the Black Sea to the Sur River, Tashkent, the...


8

1608 - Germaniae Typus

  • $14.99

Striking map of the German Empire, including the Low Countries, Switzerland, Austria, and part of the Balkans prepared by Johan Baptiste Vrients for the very late editions of Ortelius' Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, the first modern atlas of the world. The...


9

1584 - Chinae, olim Sinarum regionis nova descriptio. auctore Ludouico Georgio. [English Edition!]

  • $14.99

Very Rare English-Language Edition of the Ortelius Map of China. Fine example of Abraham Ortelius's map of China, from the exceedingly rare English edition of his Theatrum, published only in one year - 1606. Ortelius' map of China is taken directly...


10

1600 - Asia

  • $9.99

Nice full color example of Ortelius' miniature map of Asia, from the first edition of Ortelius Epitome published by Giovanni Battista Vrients. J.B. Vrients purchased the rights and plates for Ortelius' Theatrum Orbis Terrarum and Epitome at the...


11

0 - Indiae Orientalis Insularumque Adiacientium Typus

  • $14.99

Ortelius' Map of Southeast Asia, from the World's First Atlas Nice example of Ortelius' map of Southeast Asia, Japan, and the Philippines, etc., including a small section of the west coast of California. The map featured in Ortelius' Theatrum Orbis...


12

1579 - Asiae Nova Descriptio

  • $14.99

Nice old color example of Ortelius' map of Asia, from Ortelius' Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, the first modern world atlas. A marvelous misprojection of Japan and Southeast Asia. Very distinct Northeast Passage. Includes sailing ships and other...


13

1581 - Abrahamii Ortellii Quem Urbs Urbium Antuerpia Edidit…MDXCIIX… [title page]

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Engraved Title Page with portrait of Ortelius, small map of Eastern Hemisphere and other embellishments.


14

1574 - (Atlas) Theatrum Orbis Terrarum [with] Addiamentum

  • $24.99

1574 Theatrum Orbis Terrarum with 1584 Addiamentum and Several Extra Maps! Theatrum: [A6], [B4]; 70 double-page engraved maps; [a-h6]. Complete. The name Andreas Donelli appears on the title page of the Theatrum. This is likely a member of the...


15

1598 - Theatrum Orbis Terrarum

  • $24.99

Exceptionally Rare Dutch Edition of the Theatrum Published in Amsterdam by Cornelis Claesz. A superb, full original hand-color, Dutch-language Ortelius atlas published by Cornelis Claesz, Amsterdam's "great motive force behind publications in the...


16

1606 - Theatrum orbis terrarum... The Theatre of the Whole World

  • $14.99

The First and Only English Edition of Ortelius's Magnum Opus. A Fine, Tall Example with Dark Impressions of this Extremely Rare Atlas. The First English-Language Folio Atlas of the World. The 1606 edition of Ortelius's Theatrum is the both the most...