A./ GALLE ORTELIUS, P.

click here to zoom

The First Compact Atlas in French
[Antwerp, 1579]



Atlas. ORTELIUS, A./ GALLE, F. [Antwerp, 1579] Le Miroir Du Monde, Reduict Premierement En Rithme… A Anvers, De l’Imprimerie de Christofle Plantin, pour Philippe Galle. M.D.LXXIX.Oblong octavo in contemp. Vellum, ties lacking; 72 maps, 6 of which folding; slight edge wear to text leaves, partial cropping to some folding maps for binding, a few splits in two folding maps, else an excellent, crisp copy. 

Very rare. An excellent copy of the first small-scale atlas in the French language. It was also, of course, the first French edition of the compact version of Ortelius’s atlas and the second edition overall; the first edition—in Dutch—was published in 1577. Moreover, only the earliest editions of the Epitome contain, as here, the six, beautiful, larger-formatted folding maps that average 6 ¼ by 8 ½ inches; they are of the world, Europe, France, Germany, Belgium and Holland, and Italy.

As both Koeman and van der Krogt point out, because of the high cost of the folio-format Ortelius atlas, demand arose for a less expensive version that could be sold to a broader market. Reflecting this intention is that most editions of the atlas were in vernacular languages. The pocket Ortelius proved to be a great commercial success with many editions paralleling the publication of folio version. Three different publishers issued their own, different versions of the pocket atlas from 1577 to 1612.

Most scholars have criticized Galle’s engraving of the maps in this atlas as being crude. However, we would argue that the six folding maps mentioned above should be exempted from this charge. These maps, in fact, are some of the finest examples of engraving on small maps that we have seen.
Van der Krogt, P. Koeman’s Atlantes Needlandici 331:11; not in Phillips.

Price: $19,500.00

See all items in Antique Maps
See all items by ,