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Chester by Braun & Hogenberg

Braun G. & Hogenberg F. and the Civitates Orbis Terrarum.

The Civitates Orbis Terrarum, or the "Braun & Hogenberg", is a six-volume town atlas and the greatest book of town views and plans ever published: 363 engravings, sometimes beautifully coloured. It was one of the best-selling works in the last quarter of the 16th century. Georg Braun wrote the text accompanying the plans and views on the verso. A large number of the plates were engraved after the original drawings of Joris Hoefnagel (1542-1600), who was a professional artist. The first volume was published in Latin in 1572, the sixth volume in 1617. Frans Hogenberg created the tables for volumes I through IV, and Simon van den Neuwel created those for volumes V and VI. Other contributors were cartographer Daniel Freese, and Heinrich Rantzau. Works by Jacob van Deventer, Sebastian Münster, and Johannes Stumpf were also used. Translations appeared in German and French.

Following the original publication of Volume 1 of the Civitates in 1572, seven further editions of 1575, 1577, 1582, 1588, 1593, 1599 and 1612 can be identified. Vol.2, first issued in 1575, was followed by further editions in 1597 and in 1612. The next volumes appeared in 1581, 1588, 1593, 1599 and 1606. The German translation of the first volume appeared from 1574 on and the French edition from 1575 on.

Several printers were involved: Theodor Graminaeus, Heinrich von Aich, Gottfried von Kempen, Johannis Sinniger, Bertram Buchholtz and Peter von Brachel, who all worked in Cologne.

Georg Braun (1541-1622)

Georg Braun was born in Cologne in 1541. After his studies in Cologne he entered the Jesuit Order as a novice. In 1561 he obtained his bachelor's degree and in 1562 his Magister Artium. Although he left the Jesuit Order, he studied theology, gaining a licentiate in theology.

Frans Hogenberg (1535-1590)

Frans Hogenberg was a Flemish and German painter, engraver, and mapmaker. He was born in Mechelen as the son of Nicolaas Hogenberg.

By the end of the 1560s Frans Hogenberg was employed upon Abraham Ortelius's Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, published in 1570; he is named as engraver on numerous maps. In 1568 he was bannend from Antwerp by the Duke of Alva and travelled to London, where he stayed a few years before emigrating to Cologne. There he immediately embarked on his two most important works, the Civitates published from 1572 and the Geschichtsblätter, which appeared in several series from 1569 until about 1587.

Thanks to such large scale projects as the Geschichtsblätter and the Civitates, Hogenberg's social circumstances improved with each passing year. He died as a wealthy man in Cologne in 1590.

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Cestria vulgo Chester, Angliae Civitas., 1616.

€800  ($936 / £720)
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Item Number:  23295
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > British Isles
References: Van der Krogt 4 - 874 State 1; Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg - p.205

Old map - bird's-eye plan of Chester by Braun and Hogenberg, after a drawing by William Smith.

CARTOUCHE TOP: Cestria, in English Chester, a city in England.

CARTOUCHE BOTTOM: The River Dee divides England and Wales. It has its source in the north of Wales and flows into the sea called Tegaeus, in whose waters lives a specific type of fish that never swims up river, just as the salmon that swarm the river never venture into the aforesaid sea.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "The name of the town founder is unknown, if one has seen the houses constructed from enormous stones, one believes that the city was the work of giants or the Romans, in any case not the English. One also finds inscribed ancient names, that of Julius Caesar among others. [...] The city has a hospital and quarantine stations, nine parish churches and an attractive cathedral."

The schematic bird's-eye view shows the city from the south, ringed by a nearly square-shaped city wall. On top of the man-made knoll in the left foreground lies Chester Castle (20), a defensive fortification against Celtic assaults, which was erected following the Norman Conquest in 1066 to secure the nearby bridge (23) over the River Dee. Chester was founded two millennia ago as Castra Devana, serving a Roman Legion that was posted there to ward off the Celtic Welsh as an important harbour and defensive position. Following the withdrawal of the Romans, the Anglo-Saxons extended the walls in order to protect the city against incursions by the Danes. Fortified further during Norman times, Chester was intermittently the largest inland harbour in England, whose transhipment activities brought prosperity to the city. (Taschen)

Date of the first edition: 1581
Date of this map: 1616

Copper engraving
Size: 33 x 44.5cm (12.9 x 17.4 inches)
Verso text: Latin
Condition: Excellent, superb old colour.
Condition Rating: A+
References: Van der Krogt 4, 874 State 1; Fauser, 2582; Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.205.

From: Civitates Orbis Terrarum. - Urbium Praeciuarum Totius Mundi Liber Tertius. Cologne, Petrus von Brachel, 1616. (Van der Krogt 4, 41:1.3)

Braun G. & Hogenberg F. and the Civitates Orbis Terrarum.

The Civitates Orbis Terrarum, or the "Braun & Hogenberg", is a six-volume town atlas and the greatest book of town views and plans ever published: 363 engravings, sometimes beautifully coloured. It was one of the best-selling works in the last quarter of the 16th century. Georg Braun wrote the text accompanying the plans and views on the verso. A large number of the plates were engraved after the original drawings of Joris Hoefnagel (1542-1600), who was a professional artist. The first volume was published in Latin in 1572, the sixth volume in 1617. Frans Hogenberg created the tables for volumes I through IV, and Simon van den Neuwel created those for volumes V and VI. Other contributors were cartographer Daniel Freese, and Heinrich Rantzau. Works by Jacob van Deventer, Sebastian Münster, and Johannes Stumpf were also used. Translations appeared in German and French.

Following the original publication of Volume 1 of the Civitates in 1572, seven further editions of 1575, 1577, 1582, 1588, 1593, 1599 and 1612 can be identified. Vol.2, first issued in 1575, was followed by further editions in 1597 and in 1612. The next volumes appeared in 1581, 1588, 1593, 1599 and 1606. The German translation of the first volume appeared from 1574 on and the French edition from 1575 on.

Several printers were involved: Theodor Graminaeus, Heinrich von Aich, Gottfried von Kempen, Johannis Sinniger, Bertram Buchholtz and Peter von Brachel, who all worked in Cologne.

Georg Braun (1541-1622)

Georg Braun was born in Cologne in 1541. After his studies in Cologne he entered the Jesuit Order as a novice. In 1561 he obtained his bachelor's degree and in 1562 his Magister Artium. Although he left the Jesuit Order, he studied theology, gaining a licentiate in theology.

Frans Hogenberg (1535-1590)

Frans Hogenberg was a Flemish and German painter, engraver, and mapmaker. He was born in Mechelen as the son of Nicolaas Hogenberg.

By the end of the 1560s Frans Hogenberg was employed upon Abraham Ortelius's Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, published in 1570; he is named as engraver on numerous maps. In 1568 he was bannend from Antwerp by the Duke of Alva and travelled to London, where he stayed a few years before emigrating to Cologne. There he immediately embarked on his two most important works, the Civitates published from 1572 and the Geschichtsblätter, which appeared in several series from 1569 until about 1587.

Thanks to such large scale projects as the Geschichtsblätter and the Civitates, Hogenberg's social circumstances improved with each passing year. He died as a wealthy man in Cologne in 1590.

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