1588 Braun & Hogenberg Engraving
My wife's aunt and uncle had a farm up in New Hampshire. When they couldn't stand the brutal winters any longer and were going to retire to Florida, they asked us and other members of the family to come up and take whatever we felt we'd like to have, and I saw this on a living room wall and I was attracted by the colors and I liked the frame and the fact that it was old, so I took it.
This print is from a series of viewbooks called the Civitates Orbis Terrarum. And in 1570, a man named Abraham Ortelius issued the first modern atlas, called the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, which means "Theater of the World." And that was the first modern atlas. The end of the 16th century was a time of expanding travel, expanding commerce, and people in Europe were starting to look out into Asia and America and Africa and wonder what these places were like. And Abraham Ortelius issued this atlas to let them see how the layout of the land was. Well, inspired by that, two people named Braun and Hogenberg started issuing some volumes called the Civitates Orbis Terrarum, or "Cities of the World." And what they did was they had a collection of views that showed all the cities of the world, in Europe and Asia, Africa and even in America. So they had artists who went out and they drew views, and this one was drawn across the river from a place called Munden in Germany, and it was issued in the fourth volume of the set, which came out in 1588, and it shows the city at that time. You can see that it has fortified walls, it shows the commerce on the river, and it even showed the citizens and what they dressed at the time. So it let people see what their world was like. It was a fascinating series, and people were just ga-ga over this set of views of the world from the late 16th century. Now, there's a range of prices depending on whether it's a small city that it shows in Europe or a very exciting city like London or somewhere in Asia. And they go in price range from about $500 for a small city to over $2,000. Now, this is a fairly small city in Germany, little bit less exciting than some of the other ones, so a print like this we would probably in our shop sell for somewhere around $700 or $800. It's a wonderful thing. You were absolutely right to be excited when you saw this.
Well, thank you very much.
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