1588 Ortelius Antique Rare (State 2:3) World Map

Cartographer : Abraham Ortelius

This is a unique opportunity to purchase the rarest of all Abraham Ortelius world map's - Typus 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. Blank verso.

Ortelius published 3 World maps over the life of his atlas Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, 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 strap-work 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.
Below is a list of the different editions and states of Typus Orbis Terrarum.

- 1st 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.

- 2nd 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.

- 3rd 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' 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 the Theatrum.
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 Paris.

Background of Theatrum Orbis Terrarum
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
A total of 114 sales of this map across all editions from 1983 to 2011.
From the 1st edition there are 40 known sales, from the 2nd edition 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.
(Please note the condition of these maps is largely unknown, condition is a major contributing factor to value). (Ref: Van Den Broecke; Tooley; Shirley; Rosenthal)

General Description:
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)

Margins: - Professional 11cm restoration to bottom margin, 1cm into image. Light soiling
Plate area: - Small 2cm sq professional restoration below the ST of Australis
Verso: - Map backed on fine archival Japanese paper