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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 / 1598
Size:
13.5 x 18 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
62077
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1600 circa
Size:
4.5 x 3 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
52563
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
19 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
27128
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
5 x 3.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
53252
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
20 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
61510
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
20 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
61744
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
4 x 3 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
66842
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1603
Size:
18 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
63239
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1603
Size:
20 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
61812
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1603
Size:
20 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
67369
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1603
Size:
18 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
67242
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1606
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
57149
Place/Date:
London / 1606 (colophon: 1608)
Size:
12.75 x 19 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
65547
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1608
Size:
21.5 x 16 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
32533bp
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1608
Size:
19.5 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
45077
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1608
Size:
19.5 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
61575
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1608
Size:
19.5 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
61263
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1608 or 1612
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
61288
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1608
Size:
20 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
61368
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1608
Size:
20 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
61879
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1609
Size:
19 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
32876bp
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1609
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
44086
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1609
Size:
18.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
47616
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1609
Size:
20 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
57913
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1609
Size:
20 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
65700
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1612
Size:
10 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
65698
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1624
Size:
18 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
50768
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1624
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
50752
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1624
Size:
18.5 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
56347
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1624
Size:
19 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
66204
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1624
Size:
19 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
53740
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1624
Size:
18 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
56050
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1624
Size:
19 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
54418

Archived

Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
44111
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
18.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
54261
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
19.5 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
54240
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
53969
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
19.5 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
56356
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
20 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
53762
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
18.75 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
53988
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
19 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
59201
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
20 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
61984
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
61537
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
18 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
61608
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
63793
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
19 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG-
Stock#:
15155
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
20 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
12743
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
19 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
13328
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
20 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
13330
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
13331
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
13332
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
19 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
13335
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
17 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
13336
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
19.5 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
13338
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
19 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
13342
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
17 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
13343
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
13344
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
20 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
13345
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
19 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
13346
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
16 x 12 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
13349
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
18 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
13351
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
19.5 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
13352
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
13353
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
19.5 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
13354
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
19 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
13355
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
13358
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
19.5 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
13359
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
20 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
13362
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
16 x 9.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
13363
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
20 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
13644