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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 / 1592
Size:
19 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
23516
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
19 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
27128
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1571
Size:
18 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
50718
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1587
Size:
18.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
41339
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#:
43596
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1581
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
46302
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1581
Size:
20 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
46355
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1587
Size:
18 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
44832
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1585
Size:
10 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
46390
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1581
Size:
17.5 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
44739
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1581
Size:
19 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
46478
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1581
Size:
18 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
45663
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1608
Size:
19.5 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
45077
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1581
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
45047
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1609
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
44086
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
20 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
47261
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
18.5 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
47974
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
19.5 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
47839
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
20 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
60232
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
49662
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1581
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
50823
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1609
Size:
18.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
47616
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584 circa
Size:
18 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
47815
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
19.5 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
50212
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
20 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
49941
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
19 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
49833
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:
20 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
50816
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1624
Size:
10.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
52521
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
19 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
50251
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
19.5 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
53678

Archived

Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1603
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
0000F
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1595
Size:
20 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
0003
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
0023BJ
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
18.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
0024BJ
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1612
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
0026BJ
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1606
Size:
20 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
0044
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1572
Size:
19 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
0123
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
18 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
0320
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
10233
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
18.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG-
Stock#:
10548
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
18 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
1055
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1612
Size:
19 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
0539
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1595
Size:
20 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
0540
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
0699
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1612
Size:
15 x 9.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
0992
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
19 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
1028
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
17.5 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
1032
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
18 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
1033
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
18 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
1039
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
19 x 15 inches
Condition:
Good
Stock#:
10401
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570 (?)
Size:
16 x 9.5 inches
Condition:
Fair
Stock#:
10403
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
1050
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
18 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
1054
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG-
Stock#:
10541
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
1057
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
20 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
1058
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1579
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
10589
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
20 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
1059
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
20 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
1063
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
20 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
1064
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
20 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
1065
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
18 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
1066
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1595
Size:
20 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
10759
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1579
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
10760
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1587
Size:
17.5 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
10766
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1587
Size:
19.5 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
10768
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
20 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG-
Stock#:
10800
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1612
Size:
13 x 8 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
11014
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
18.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
1259
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1572
Size:
19.5 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
14363
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
19 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG-
Stock#:
15155
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570
Size:
19.5 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
15156