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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 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
60232
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
49662
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 / 1584
Size:
19.5 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
57535
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
58760
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584 circa
Size:
18.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
59093mp2
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
20 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
59221mp2
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
19 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
60090mp2
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
18 x 14 inches
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VG+
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Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
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19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
60197mp2
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
20 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
60349
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
19.5 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
63201
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
20 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
61551
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584 circa
Size:
9.5 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
61704
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
9 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
61945
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
Good
Stock#:
62047
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1585
Size:
10 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
46390
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1585 circa
Size:
19.7 x 13.8 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
64335
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1587
Size:
18.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
41339
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1587
Size:
18 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
44832
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1587
Size:
10 x 14.5 inches
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VG+
Stock#:
61546
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1587
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8.5 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
61616
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1587
Size:
9.5 x 12 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
61818
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1587 (1603)
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
62336
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1590 circa
Size:
9.3 x 12.3 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
61519
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1591
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
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62500
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
19 x 13.5 inches
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VG+
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23516
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
19 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
50251
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
18 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
57003
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
18 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
64000
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
19 x 14 inches
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VG+
Stock#:
63663
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
19.5 x 13.5 inches
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VG
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63942
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Antwerp / 1592
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19.5 x 14.5 inches
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VG+
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Antwerp / 1595
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
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43596
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1595
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19.5 x 14 inches
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Archived

Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1571
Size:
19 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
38322
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1571
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
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Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1571
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
43892mp2
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1571
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
50593
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1571
Size:
16.25 x 11.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
51673
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1571
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
53253
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1571
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
52312
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1571
Size:
18 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
61401
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1572
Size:
19 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
0123
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1572
Size:
19.5 x 14.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
14363
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1572
Size:
19 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
16460
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1572
Size:
18 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG
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20157
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1572
Size:
17 x 14.5 inches
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VG
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20529
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1572
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
0141ops
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1572
Size:
19 x 14 inches
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VG
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25077
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1572 circa
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19 x 14.5 inches
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VG+
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32645
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1572
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
34976
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1572 circa
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
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VG
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37302
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1572
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
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Good
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38002
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1572
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
43889
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1572
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
Good
Stock#:
61515
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
8076
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
17.5 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
9021
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
17.5 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
16059
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
18 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
16060
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
20 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
16058
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
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18882
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
20 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
21944
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
18 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
21952
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
17.5 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
22602
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
23202
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
19 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
23320
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
17 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
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23338
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
18 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
23412
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
19 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
23430
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
19 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
24768
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573 circa
Size:
20 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
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36195
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG-
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33946
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573 circa
Size:
18 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG
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34428ac
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
19 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
34430ac
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
18 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
38918
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573 circa
Size:
18 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
46989
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 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
59201