Title/Content of Map: ArgonauticaDate Printed: 1600'sCartographer: Abraham OrteliusMaterial/Medium: Excellent hand color, strong impression, thin paper. No text on verso. From the first modern atlas- the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum by Abraham Ortelius.Size: 17 x 21 inches
Probably unique, potentially a proof printing. A similar but way more common copy sold at Bonhams in 2013 for $1,187. The most recent auction record for another more common copy sold for $1,575 on eBay in 2016. More background: Describing the travels of Jason and the Argonauts. Title: ARGONAVTICA. [About the Argonauts]. (Cartouche lower middle left:) "Ex conatibus Geographicis Abrah. Ortelij Antverp". [From the geographical efforts of Abraham Ortelius].(Cartouche bottom left:) ILLVSTRISSIMO | PRINCIPI CAROLO | COMITI ARENBERGIO, | BARONI SEPTIMONTII, | DOMINO MIRVARTII, | EQVITI AVREI VEL:|LERIS, ETC. | ABRAH. ORTELIVS | DEDICAB. L.M. [Dedicated with good reason to the very famous and illustrious ruler Carolus, count of Arenberg, baron of Zevenbergen [Seven Mountains], lord of Mirvars, knight of the Golden Fleece, by Abraham Ortelius]. (Inset middle right 65 x 70mm:) Minoium | pelagus. [Sea east of Thessalia, central Greece]; (inset bottom right, 81 x 132 mm:) PROPON:|TIS. (Inset top left, 68 x 83 mm:) EVRO::PA. (Top left:) "Argonautarum reditum | ex Orpheo quia tabula | non capiebat, en | hic eum seorsum". [The return of the Argonauts from Orpheus is shown here since the map cannot show it]. (Mid left:) "Aeae insula | et portus | ubi Circes habitaculum". [The isle of Aea, and its harbour, where Circe lived]. (Mid left:) "Anthemoußa | insula, vbi | Sirenes" [The isle of Anthemoussa, where the sirens are.] (Mid left:) "Nymphea insula | Calypsonis habi:|taculum" [The isle of Nymphea, were Calypso lived]. (Top centre:) "Ipse papyrifero qui non angustior amne | Miscetur vasto multa per ora freto. | Ovid. de Danubio". [This river brings forth the papyrus plant, not where it is rather narrow, but it produces much at its mouth. Ovidius, writing about the Danube]. (Centre:) "Ceraunia, quæ | et Macris, et | Drepane insula, in | qua Medeæ antrum". [The isle of Ceraunia, or Macris, or Drepane, where you find the cave of Medea]. (Top right:) "Tanais flu. Asi:|am ab Europa | disterminans". [The river Tanais, which divides Europe from Asia]. (Upper middle right:) AXENVM Aequor, Iasonio | pulsatum remige primum. [The sea of Axenus, first traversed by Iaso by oars]. (Top right:) "Caucasus mons, Cubile Promethei". [Mount Caucasus, the seat of Prometheus]. (Inset bottom right, 81 x 132 mm:) PROPON:|TIS. [Sea of Marmara] (Bottom right:) HEL::LES::PONTVS, Phryxeum aequor,|et Athamantidis fluenta. [The Hellespont, the Phryxeum sea, and the flowing of the river Athamantis]. (Bottom right:) "Duorum horum tractuum pleniorem descripti:|onem quia Tabula angustia non admittebat, hîc | seorsum eos delineare operæpretium duximus. [Here above we present two of their journeys in greater, more useful detail, because the regular map on account of its size does not allow me to do so]. (More text blocks in Topographical Names). ]. (From leading Ortelius scholar Marcel van den Broecke.)
Abraham Ortelius (1527 - 1598) was a Flemish cartographer & geographer, celebrated as the creator of the first modern atlas, the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Theatre of the World). Ortelius' work, the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, was the first uniformly sized, systematic collection of maps; this work can therefore be called the first atlas (although the term was not used until 20 years later by Mercator).
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