1587 Abraham Ortelius Antique Title Page from the Atlas Theatrum Orbis Terrarum

Cartographer : Abraham Ortelius

  • Title : Theatre de l univers : contenant les cartes de tout le monde, avec une brieve declaration d icelles par Abraham Ortelius...MDLXXXVII (1587)
  • Size: 15 3/4in x 10 3/4in (400mm x 270mm)
  • Condition: (A) Very Good Condition
  • Date : 1587
  • Ref #:  32035

These original copper-plate engraved antique Title Page, with a quote by Cicero on the verso, was published in the 1587 French edition of Abraham Ortelius Atlas Theatrum Orbis Terrarum.

General Definitions:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable
Paper color : - off white
Age of map color: -
Colors used: -
General color appearance: -
Paper size: - 15 3/4in x 10 3/4in (400mm x 270mm)
Plate size: - 15 3/4in x 10 3/4in (400mm x 270mm)
Margins: - Min 1/2in (12mm)

Margins: - Light soiling, old ink text in left margin
Plate area: - Light soiling
Verso: - Light soiling

This is the French version of Abraham OrteliusTheatrum orbis terrarum, considered to be the first modern atlas. Ortelius was one of the leading humanists of the Low Countries and was acquainted with many European intellectuals. Theatrum orbis terrarum was incredibly successful, despite being the most expensive book produced in the second half of the sixteenth century. Interest in it was extended by the continued issue of updated versions. Produced during the European Age of Discovery, new editions reflected the latest geographic knowledge, and each version contained new maps and information.
Theatrum orbis terrarum translates as Theatre of the lands of the world. The idea of the world as a theatre is echoed by William Shakespeare in his naming of the Globe theatre, and in Jaquess famous speech in As You Like It, beginning All the worlds a stage, and all the men and women merely players. The influence of Elizabethan exploration and the ideas of new and strange lands and peoples are reflected in many of Shakespeares plays.
The opening double-page spread of the world in this book, engraved by Francis Hogenberg, is among the most widely reproduced early-modern maps. It reflects contemporary theories about what remained undiscovered: Ortelius believed there to be a large southern continent which he named Terra Australis Nondum Cognita, or Southern Land Not Yet Known.