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Stock# 51716
Description

A True Cartographic Rarity -- Europe, Persia and Middle East Map Section, Likely From A Lost 16th Century Wall Map of the World

Exceptionally rare separately published map of Europe, the Middle East, Persian Empire and the Tartar Regions of Russia, prepared by Franz Hogenberg in Cologne.

Hogenberg derives his cartographic content from Ortelius' 8 sheet world map of 1564. The mythical island of Brasil appears west of Ireland, with the projection of the British Isles improved, along with the northern and western coastlines of Scandinavia. The treatment of Greenland and the Arctic regions has improved, as has depiction of Iceland, which is named both Islandia and Thule, with many place names on the island. The northern coastline of Russia is also completely redone and the shape of the Caspian Sea revised. The shape of Italy is also improved.

While titled as a map of Europe, the cartouche at the left appears to be a very late addition to the map, worked in around the existing location of the island of Brasil, in the only place large enough to incorporate a cartouche of its size. We surmise that the cartouche was quite likely added just before printing. Stylistically, the cartouche also does not match the decorative engraving in other parts of the map, suggesting it may have been added by a different hand, but almost certainly at a late date in the life of the copper plate.

The scenes across the top, showing nomadic tents in Tartaria and northern Russia, follows the details in Ortelius' 8 sheet map, but presenting a much finer imagery. While some of the nomenclature is similar, there are notable differences, including the reference to Sinus Arabicus in the Red Sea.

The projection of the map suggests that it was not in fact intended as a single sheet map, but was more likely a single sheet from a multi sheet cordiform world map (we would estimate 12 to 16 sheets in all). The map's cartography clearly derives from Abraham Ortelius's 1564 8-sheet cordiform world map (Shirley 114). Hogenberg was the engraver of many of Ortelius's early maps and indeed the present map might represent Hogenberg's attempt to update the map. This map shares some updates with Oretlius's later map of Europe.

While there is no maker listed on the map, Peter Van der Krogt suggests Franz Hogenberg was its maker, although its authorship is not known with certainty. We do know that this example was originally included in a composite atlas, consisting of Ortelius maps and a number of other maps by Hogenberg, and the only other example of this map to come to market in recent years (Swann Galleries, May 26, 2016, Lot 55), came as part of a collection of 5 maps, all of which were by Hogenberg.

The map was likely issued about 1576, 4 years after the first volume of the Braun & Hogenberg Civitatus Orbis Terrarum (1572) was published and 2 years after Georg Braun's double eagle wall map of the world was issued (1574 -- Shirley 130).

Despite its title, the map extends from Greenland and north Africa to the Tartar regions on northern central Asia, and would seem to be colored to show the major countries and empires of the time:

  • Italy
  • Holy Roman Empire
  • Spain
  • France
  • Poland
  • Ottoman Empire
  • Persian Empire
  • Tartar Regions
  • Denmark
  • Sweden
  • England, Ireland and Scotland are separate countries

Factors Suggesting That The Map Is From A Now Lost Wall Map

The following facts suggest that the map is likely a sheet from a wall map:

  1. The cordiform projection is typically not used for single sheet maps
  2. The simple cartouche suggests that the map was not originally intended as a single sheet map
  3. There is no formal title cartouche, maker or dedication on the map, all of which would have been expected for separately published single sheet maps of this period
  4. The tents at the top of the map appear to be cut off and and slightly reworked.
  5. Another line of latitude faintly appears at the top of the map, above the tent lines, strongly suggesting that another sheet was intended to be joined above the present sheet.
  6. The double lined depiction of the Tropic of Cancer is unnamed, likely because it was named in an adjoining sheet to the west (for example, on the 8 sheet Ortelius map of 1564, Tropic of Cancer is named in the Atlantic Ocean, just to the west of the coast of Africa).

We are aware of no other surviving examples of map sheets surviving from this work for other sections of the world. As such, the full story of the map is, for now, an unsolved mystery.

Frans Hogenberg and sixteenth-century Europe

Frans Hogenberg (ca. 1540-ca. 1590) was a Flemish and German engraver and mapmaker who also painted. He was born in Mechelen, south of Antwerp, the son of wood engraver and etcher Nicolas Hogenberg. Together with his father, brother (Remigius), uncle, and cousins, Frans was one member of a prominent artistic family in the Netherlands.

During the 1550s, Frans worked in Antwerp with the famous mapmaker Abraham Ortelius. There, he engraved the maps for Ortelius' groundbreaking first atlas, published in Antwerp in 1570, along with Johannes van Deotecum and Ambrosius and Ferdinand Arsenius. It is suspected he engraved the title page as well. Later, Ortelius supported Hogenberg with information for a different project, the Civitates orbis terrarium (edited by Georg Braun, engraved by Hogenberg, published in six volumes, Cologne, 1572-1617). Hogenberg engraved the majority of the work's 546 prospects and views.

It is possible that Frans spent some time in England while fleeing from religious persecution, but he was living and working in Cologne by 1580. That is the city where he died around 1590. In addition to his maps, he is known for his historical allegories and portraits. His brother, Remigius, also went on to some fame as an engraver, and he died around the same time as his brother.

Both Remigius and Frans were members of the Northern Renaissance. They might more accurately be referred to as inheritors of the values of Renaissance humanists, or men interested in cultivating an active, engaged civic life focused on (Classical) learning and virtue. This worldview was reflected in Ortelius' project to contain all the world in an atlas, or Hogenberg's desire to picture and describe all the great cities of Europe, so that others could learn of them and appreciate their similarities and differences.

The brothers Hogenberg lived in the Holy Roman Empire at a crucial moment. In 1519, Charles I became Charles V, King of Spain as well as Holy Roman Emperor. This was not the first time a Hapsburg had been elected Emperor-they continuously occupied the throne from 1438 to 1740-but it was the first time they had also held the throne of Spain.

During the sixteenth century, the Hapsburgs were in almost constant warfare with the Tudors, the French, and/or the Ottomans (not to mention internal conflicts). Simultaneously, the sixteenth century witnessed the Wars of Religion, terrible fighting between Catholics and Protestants that split the Holy Roman Empire into factions but did not dissolve it. It is likely that Remegius, and possibly Frans as well, were exiled to England for a time due to religious persecution. This culturally rich yet religiously and dynastically violent world is the one navigated by Ortelius and the Hogenberg brothers. It is also the world captured within this map.

Rarity

The Hogenberg map is very rare on the market. We know of only one other example to appear on the market in the past 30 years.

Condition Description
Old color.
Frans Hogenberg Biography

Frans Hogenberg (ca. 1540-ca. 1590) was a Flemish and German engraver and mapmaker who also painted. He was born in Mechelen, south of Antwerp, the son of wood engraver and etcher Nicolas Hogenberg. Together with his father, brother (Remigius), uncle, and cousins, Frans was one member of a prominent artistic family in the Netherlands.

During the 1550s, Frans worked in Antwerp with the famous mapmaker Abraham Ortelius. There, he engraved the maps for Ortelius’ groundbreaking first atlas, published in Antwerp in 1570, along with Johannes van Deotecum and Ambrosius and Ferdinand Arsenius. It is suspected he engraved the title page as well. Later, Ortelius supported Hogenberg with information for a different project, the Civitates orbis terrarium (edited by Georg Braun, engraved by Hogenberg, published in six volumes, Cologne, 1572-1617). Hogenberg engraved the majority of the work’s 546 prospects and views.

It is possible that Frans spent some time in England while fleeing from religious persecution, but he was living and working in Cologne by 1580. That is the city where he died around 1590. In addition to his maps, he is known for his historical allegories and portraits. His brother, Remigius, also went on to some fame as an engraver, and he died around the same time as his brother.