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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 / 1587
Size:
10 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
61546
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
18.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
61318
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
20 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
61551
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1581
Size:
20 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
46355
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1590 circa
Size:
9.3 x 12.3 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
61519
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1624
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
50752
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
53969
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
20 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
61641
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584 circa
Size:
18 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
47815
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1580
Size:
20 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
61472
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
Good
Stock#:
62047
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1598
Size:
17.5 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
61923
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
20 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
59551
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
19.5 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
57535
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
19.5 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
63942
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584 circa
Size:
18.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
59093mp2
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
63663
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1624
Size:
19 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
54418
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1603
Size:
19 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
62254
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1585
Size:
10 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
46390
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
20 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
61510
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
19.5 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
63201
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
17.5 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
60632mp2
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592 circa
Size:
19 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
58902
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1571
Size:
19.5 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
61548
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
19 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
45006
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1595
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
58142
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1581
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
50823

Archived

Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1624
Size:
17.5 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
53794
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1612
Size:
17.5 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
56129
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
17.5 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
63693
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
5 x 3.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
18825
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1587
Size:
19.5 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
10768
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
19.5 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
jb15149
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1579
Size:
19.5 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
18315
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1587
Size:
19.5 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
19973
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1602
Size:
19.5 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG-
Stock#:
37954
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1608
Size:
19.5 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
32349bpf
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1598
Size:
19.5 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
35569
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1587
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
46796e
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1603
Size:
19.5 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
57120
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1595
Size:
19.5 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
62551
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
20 x 14.75 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
57587
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1603
Size:
19.5 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
63537
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1581
Size:
19.5 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
42799
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1579
Size:
19.5 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
45897d
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1595 circa
Size:
19.5 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
50645
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 / 1606
Size:
19.5 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
8547
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
19 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
5972
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1587
Size:
19 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
20450
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1603
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
8652
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1608
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
20328
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1609
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
33411bp
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1602
Size:
5 x 3.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
35864
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1602
Size:
5 x 3.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
18794
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1602 circa
Size:
5 x 3.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
36568gm
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1595
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
11290
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1571
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
11599
Place/Date:
Brescia / 1598
Size:
4.5 x 3.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
15357
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1598
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
6652
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
8076
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
16044
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1595
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
17649
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1612
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
19326
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1579
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
20437
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1598
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
22426
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1572
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
25077
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1609
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
25078
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
25505
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1571
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
25573
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1602
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG-
Stock#:
33780
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1608
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
32349bpa
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
34810