Ortelius, Abraham “Blesiense Territorium.”  [Blois & Loire Valley, France]

Ortelius, Abraham “Blesiense Territorium.” [Blois & Loire Valley, France]

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Abraham Ortelius (1527-98).  “Blesiense Territorium.”  [Blois & Loire Valley, France].  From Abraham Ortelius his Epitome of the theater of the worlde

London: I. Shawe, 1603.  Ca. 3 1/4 x 4 3/4.  Engravings by Ambrosius and Ferdinand Arsenius.  Trimmed to neatlines.  Else, very good condition. 

Ortelius  is known as the ‘father of modern cartography,’ for in 1570 he issued what can be considered the first modern atlas, the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum or “Theater of the World.”  This atlas was a considerable success, and so in 1577 a miniature version of the atlas was issued by Philip Galle.  This soon spurred a competitive miniature Ortelius atlas, with the maps better engraved by the Arsenius brothers.  In 1603 both versions of the Ortelius Epitome were issued in London in an English edition.  These were the first world atlases published in England.  The maps are reduced images of Ortelius’ seminal work, with good detail for the size.  The engravings in this edition are strong and finely done.  This is a charming map with a fascinating history.