This is a unique opportunity to
purchase the rarest of all Abraham Ortelius world map's
Orbis Terrarum - Ort 2, state 3 or Ort 2:3.
To put the scarcity of this map into context please
consider. Ortelius published a total of 6950 world maps
over three editions of his atlases. According to the
foremost authority on Ortelius works, Marcel Van Den
Broecke, only 411 total world maps are known to have
survived. Of these 411 only 14 are the Ort 2 edition and
of these 14 only 4 are Ort 2:3 state. Making this one of
the rarest maps available on the market today.
Ortelius published 3 World maps over the life of his
between 1570 & 1612. These maps are
referred to as Ort 1, Ort 2 & Ort 3. Within these
three map editions necessary changes, repairs & updates
were made to the plates, referred to as states. Ort
1 required 5 changes or states. Ort 2 required 3 changes
and Ort 3
changed twice. This map published in 1588 and the
last state of Ort 2 is identified by
the changes to the western South American
coastline, whilst still retaining the decorative cloud
surround as in Ort1. Ort 3 was changed by removing the
cloud surrounds replacing them with medallions and
This is a beautiful map with original hand colouring, on sturdy clean paper
with original margins. Prior
to my acquiring the map from Marcel P R van den Broecke
- author of "Ortelius
Atlas Maps" - the map underwent some small
professional restoration. Backed and pressed onto
archival Japanese paper, these restorations, a 2cm sq one to the
image and an 11cm x 1cm one to the bottom margin, have been carried out
professionally and do not detract in anyway from the
map. A more comprehensive
description is available below as is a
Certificate of Authenticity from Marcel van den
Broecke, that accompanies the map.
Map history & background.
edition (Ort 1)
– States 1.1 through to 1.5.
A total of 3250 maps from this plate were published
between 1570 & 1584. Today it is estimated that there
are 236 loose copies in circulation of all 5 states
Ortelius Plate 1.1
edition (Ort 2)
- States 2.1 through to 2.3.
A total of 500 maps from this plate were published
between 1586 & 1588. Today it is estimated that there
are 14 loose copies in circulation of all 3 states.
Ortelius Plate 2.3
edition (Ort 3)
– States 3.1 through to 3.2.
A total of 3200 maps from this plate were published
between 1589 & 1612. Today it is estimated that there
are 161 loose copies in circulation of both states.
Ortelius Plate 3.1
Ortelius' world map is
a simplified one-sheet reduction of Mercator's large
world map which had appeared the year before. Nearly
all the legends, textual panels and decorative features
of Mercator's map
have been omitted; between the oval circumference of the
map and the outer frame are now clouds and below, a
quotation from Cicero. From surviving correspondence, it
is known that Mercator generously encouraged Ortelius to
make use of his published research; he also
provided him with coordinates of places in America and
other newly discovered regions of the world. In the
first edition South America retains the unusual
bulged south-west coast as drawn by Mercator. There is also
a prudent comment adjacent to New Guinea querying
whether this large island is part of the southern
continent or not.
The original plate, like a number of others in the
Atlas, were signed by the engraver Franciscus (Frans)
Hogenberg and was used for the first sixteen editions of
In nearly all places there is text on the reverse of the
map in the language indicated but a few copies are known
which lack reverse text. Between 1575 and 1579 the plate
became cracked along the lower left hand corner. The
crack was roughly mended and the whole border of the
clouds substantially reworked; editions from 1579 to
1584 contain this revised state 2 of plate 1. Ortelius
subsequently produced two further world maps, each
slightly improved geographically.
Several of these states co-existed; for instance
although plate 3 carries the date 1587, it does not seem
to have been issued until 1592. Only one example has
been sighted of the first state plate 2 of 1586. State 3
of plate 2 is also uncommon but it re-appears in the
British Library's copy of the Dutch 1598 edition of the
Theatrum which, as noted by Koeman, was often made up of
earlier stock sheets.
Ortelius' map was copied widely, and derivatives were
later used to illustrate works by Voisin, Broughton,
Maffei, Bell-Forest, Petri, Hakluyt and others.
Cartographical sources were
Gerard Mercator 1569 & Gastaldi 1561 world maps and
Diego Gutierrez' portolan map of the Atlantic.
Next to the list at the bottom of the text, Ortelius
mentions in his Catalogues Auctorum the world maps by
Peter ab Aggere from Mechelen, Sebastian Cabotus from
Venice, Laurentius Fries from Antwerp, Jacobus Gastaldi,
Gemma Frisius from Antwerp, Guicciardinus from Antwerp,
Doco ab Hemminga Frisius, and Orontius Finæus from
For the first time, in
1570, all the elements of the modern Atlas were brought
to publication in Abraham Ortelius' Atlas Theatrum Orbis
Terrarum. This substantial undertaking assembled
fifty-three of the best available maps of the world by
the most renowned and up to date geographers.
Unlike earlier compositions, such as the Italian
composite or "Lafreri" Atlases, each of Ortelius' maps
was engraved specifically for his Atlas according to
uniform format. Through its launching, pre-eminence in
map publishing was transferred from Italy to the
Netherlands, leading to over a hundred years of Dutch
supremacy in all facts of cartographical production.
There were a
total of 7300 copies of Theatrum published
between 1570 - 1612 from 31 editions.
Historical sales data
of 114 sales of this map across all editions from 1983 to 2011.
1st edition there are 40 known sales, from the 2nd
there are 3 known sales leaving 48 sales from the third
edition. The following is a further breakdown of sales
data per edition.
Edition # 1
– 49 sales from 1983 to 2011 with a top price of $18,172
for an 1570 edition (Ort1:4) in 2005.
Edition # 2
- 4 sales between 1985 & 2007 with a top price of
$18,000 for a 1586 Ort 2:3 in 2007
Edition # 3
- 60 sales from 1985 to 2011 with a top price of $17,759
paid for a 1606 Ort 3 in 2000.
note the condition of these maps is largely unknown,
condition is a major contributing factor to value).
(Ref: Van Den Broecke; Tooley; Shirley; Rosenthal)
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable
Paper color: - off white
Age of map color: - Original
Colors used: - Yellow, green, blue, pink
General color appearance: - Authentic
Paper size: - 20in x 14 ½in (510mm x 370mm)
Plate size: - 19 ½in x 13 1/4in (495mm x 340mm)
Margins: - Min ½in (10mm)
Professional 11cm restoration to bottom margin, 1cm into
image. Light soiling
Plate area: -
2cm sq professional restoration below the ST of
Map backed with archival
If you wish to discuss this or any other item
please email or call - good luck, Simon.
61 (0) 409 551910 Tel