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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.

Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570
Size:
20.5 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
Good
Stock#:
62781
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1571
Size:
18 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
50718
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1571
Size:
19.5 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
61548
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1572
Size:
18 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
61596
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1572
Size:
19.25 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
64135
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
53969
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
17 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
56251
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
20 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
59551
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
61537
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
63793
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
19.5 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
53678
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574 (with 1584 Addiamentum)
Size:
17.5 x 12 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
55263
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
20 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
61641
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
18.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
61318
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
17 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
61447
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1579 circa
Size:
19 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
58902
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1579
Size:
19.5 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
61580
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1580
Size:
20 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
61472
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1581
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
46302
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1581
Size:
20 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
46355
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1581
Size:
17.5 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
44739
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1581
Size:
19 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
46478
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1581
Size:
18 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
45663
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1581
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
45047
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1581
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
50823
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1581
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
58280
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1581
Size:
9.5 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
61754
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
19 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
45006
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
20 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
47261
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
18.5 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
47974

Archived

Place/Date:
Antwerp /
Size:
20 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
55232
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570 (?)
Size:
16 x 9.5 inches
Condition:
Fair
Stock#:
10403
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570
Size:
19.5 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
15156
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570
Size:
19.5 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
15525
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570 (1612)
Size:
19 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
1628
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570
Size:
20 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
2389
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570 (1608)
Size:
19 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
4948
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570
Size:
19 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
9337
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570
Size:
15 x 9 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
9438
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570
Size:
18 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
9754
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570
Size:
19.5 x 15 inches
Condition:
Good
Stock#:
9914
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570
Size:
19.5 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
19698
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570
Size:
19.5 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
22326
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570
Size:
19 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
22921
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570
Size:
19 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
23214
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
23252
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570
Size:
18 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
23257
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570 circa
Size:
19 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
23462
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570
Size:
16 x 9.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
23755
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570 circa
Size:
16 x 9.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
24303
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
30129
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
32455
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
34516gm
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
36799dr
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570 circa
Size:
13 x 8 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
37394
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570 circa
Size:
13 x 8 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
37613
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570 circa
Size:
13 x 8 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
38873
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570 circa
Size:
13 x 8 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
39465
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570
Size:
19 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
40120
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570 circa
Size:
8 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
41198
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570 circa
Size:
13 x 8 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
41641
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570
Size:
19 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
42640
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570
Size:
19 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
43508
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570 circa
Size:
19 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
57108
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570
Size:
19 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
53826
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570
Size:
18 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
51962
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570 circa
Size:
19.5 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
58014
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570
Size:
Condition:
Stock#:
1570AOrtelius
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
61512
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570
Size:
19 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
61703
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570
Size:
17.5 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
61792
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1571
Size:
18 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
11297
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1571
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
11599
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1571
Size:
18 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
20156
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1571
Size:
19.5 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
20440
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1571
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
21453
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1571
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
25573
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1571
Size:
20 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
29771
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1571
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
35529