(ORTELIUS, A.). Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. (Amst.?), "Ghedruckt voor A. Ortelius" (by Corn. Claesz.?), 1598. (6) lvs., incl. engr. ti and full-p. engr. portr. by Ph. Galle and w. 90 (of 91) double-p. maps, all in cont. hand colouring. Fol. 19th c. hcf. w. marbled paper sides. (Lacking map 37: "Vrieslandt", repairs in places to blank margins throughout (no resultant loss of text or image), map 11 "Enghelandt" w. rep. tear running into image, lower (blank) margin stained throughout, colouring in places slightly affected by humidity, w. some resultant stenciling).Theatrum Orbis Terrarum is considered to be the first true modern atlas, consisting of a collection of uniform map sheets and supporting text bound to form a book for which copper printing plates were specifically engraved. The atlas contained virtually no maps from the hand of Ortelius himself, but bundled maps of other masters, and made mention of his sources. In this atlas the maps were all in the same style and of the same size, printed from copper plates, logically arranged by continent, region and state. In addition to the maps, he provided a descriptive comment and referrals on the reverse. This was the first time that the entirety of Western European knowledge of the world was brought together in one book. - Van der Krogt has good reasons to assume that this atlas was printed by Cornelis Claesz. in Amsterdam: "The Plantin archives contain no record of a Dutch edition of 1598. (…) The typeface and initials of this edition are not found in any other edition from the Plantin Press, but do correspond with those used by Claesz." - V.d. Krogt/Koeman 31:121; V.d. Broecke, Ortelius Atlas Maps, p. 26.
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