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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 / 1584
Size:
20 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
49941
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
20 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
47261
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1572
Size:
18 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
61596
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1609
Size:
18.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
47616
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1572
Size:
19.25 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
64135
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1595 circa
Size:
19.5 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
63147
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1581
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
45047
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
63118
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1581
Size:
17.5 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
44739
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1624
Size:
20 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
50816
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1612 circa
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
63913
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
20 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
59221mp2
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
19.5 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
62019
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
19 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
60090mp2
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
20 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
60232
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1581
Size:
19 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
46478
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1571
Size:
18 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
50718
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
61537
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
18 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
60160mp2
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1609
Size:
20 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
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Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1595
Size:
19 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
61680
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
49662
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
5 x 3.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
53252
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
18 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
57003
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1603
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
63794
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1608
Size:
21.5 x 16 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
32533bp
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
18.5 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
47974
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1591
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
62500
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1606
Size:
19.5 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
62044
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1609
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
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Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1598
Size:
13.5 x 18 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
62077
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
18 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
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Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1624
Size:
18 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
56050
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1581
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
46302
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1624 circa
Size:
10.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
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Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1624
Size:
10.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
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Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
20 x 14 inches
Condition:
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Stock#:
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Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
17 x 14.5 inches
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Stock#:
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Archived

Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1612 circa
Size:
16 x 9.5 inches
Condition:
VG
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Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1612 circa
Size:
16 x 9.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
29616
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1612
Size:
16 x 9.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
24487
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1598
Size:
16 x 9.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
25063
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
16 x 9.5 inches
Condition:
Good
Stock#:
6030
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
19.5 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
47839
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1598
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches each
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
63250
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
5 x 3.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
18753
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
18.4 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
20326
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1609
Size:
18.4 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
32710bp
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1595
Size:
18.4 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
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Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
18.4 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
47035
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1624
Size:
18.4 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
39599
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1608
Size:
18.4 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
38556
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
18.4 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
43594
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1624
Size:
18.4 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
50272
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
18.4 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
19968
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
18.4 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
6844
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570
Size:
15 x 9 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
9438
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
0699
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
19 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
7452
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
9338
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
23477
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1608
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
35747bp
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1608
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
44211
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
47722
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1587
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
58282mp2
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
18630
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
7 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
19248
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
5 x 3.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
26637
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
31 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
19340
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
15.5 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG-
Stock#:
19419
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1587
Size:
31 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
20833
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
31 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
22516
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
31 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
49496
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
31 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
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Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
31 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
21968
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
31 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
34977
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1585
Size:
31 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
42668
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1609
Size:
19.5 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
33448bp
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1594 circa
Size:
19.5 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
38790
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1608
Size:
19.5 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
42111
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1624
Size:
19.5 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
55208
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1590
Size:
17.5 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
25612
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1609
Size:
17.5 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
33477bp
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1624
Size:
17.5 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
53794