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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 / 1579
Size:
19.5 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
61580
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1587
Size:
8.5 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
61616
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1581
Size:
18 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
45663
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1581
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
50823
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1595
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
58142
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
19 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
45006
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1571
Size:
19.5 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
61548
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592 circa
Size:
19 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
58902
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
17.5 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
60632mp2
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
19.5 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
63201
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
20 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
61510
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1585
Size:
10 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
46390
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1603
Size:
19 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
62254
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1624
Size:
19 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
54418
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
63663
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584 circa
Size:
18.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
59093mp2
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
19.5 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
63942
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
19.5 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
57535
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
20 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
59551
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1598
Size:
17.5 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
61923
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
Good
Stock#:
62047
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1580
Size:
20 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
61472
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584 circa
Size:
18 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
47815
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
20 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
61641
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
53969
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1624
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
50752

Archived

Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
18 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
16060
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
18 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
21952
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570
Size:
18 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
23257
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1581
Size:
18 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
44262
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
18 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
58761
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
5 x 3 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
19146
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
17.5 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
1032
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
17.5 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
6897
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1587
Size:
17.5 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
22958
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1581
Size:
17.5 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
44933
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
17.5 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
50260
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
17.5 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
60592mp2
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
5 x 3.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
26759
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
19.5 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
5997
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
19.5 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
21979
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1581
Size:
19.5 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
46236
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
19.5 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
50068
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
5 x 3 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
20411
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1587
Size:
9 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
20552
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
18 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
5985
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1579
Size:
18 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
7458
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
18 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
20342
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1608
Size:
18 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
32547bp
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
5 x 3 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
20567
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG-
Stock#:
10541
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
Fine
Stock#:
6066
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1587
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
20474
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
5.5 x 3 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
19108
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1587
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
19972
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1587
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
19972ll
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1587
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
23444
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1608
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
32349bpw
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
0023BJ
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
10233
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1579
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
10589
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1579
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
10760
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1589
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
14787
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1575
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
4372
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1575
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
5960
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1603
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
9085
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1575
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
9671
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
9931
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
16042
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1598
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
17996
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
18503
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
18580
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
5 x 3.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
18752
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
0016em