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The Sound with Helsingborg, Landskrona and Elbogen, by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg. 1590

Translation of cartouche text: Accurate drawing of the Danish strait or sound.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN (on verso): "At this place the islands of Zealand and Scania, with foothills rising on both sides, lie so close to each other that there is scarcely one mile between them. Through this strait, called Oresund, many rivers from Germany, Livonia, Sweden and Russia, which have entered the Baltic Sea, rush past due to a difference in altitude into the great sea between Jutland, Denmark and Norway. All ships that pass through the sound have to stop at this place in order to pay their respects to the castle as the royal residence by lowering their sails and to pay customs dues on their cargo to the royal treasurer."

This bird's-eye view from the west demonstratively presents the sound as a Danish inland sea, in order to counter the Swedish claims to it. The cities of Helsingborg, Landskrona and Malmö, which were Danish at the time, and the Island of Ven can clearly be seen. In the foreground is the city of Helsingor with its late Gothic cathedral of St Olai, completed in the 15th century. In the sound a sea batlle is taking place, and Kronborg castle is under attack. This was a strategically important fortress, where the Sound Toll was collected from passing non-Danish ships. Kronborg castle entered world literature around 1600 as the scene of Shakespeare's play Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. (Taschen)


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 of 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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Freti Danici or Sundt Accuratiss Delineatio.

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Item Number:  14941
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > Northern Europe

Old map - Bird's-eye view of The Sound with Helsingborg, Landskrona and Elbogen, by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg.

Inset with a view of Kronenborg Castle.

Date of the first edition: 1588
Date of this edition: 1590

Copper engraving
Size: 34 x 47cm (13.3 x 18.3 inches)
Verso text: German
Condition: Old coloured, lower centrefold split reinforced, else good.
Condition Rating: A
References: Van der Krogt 4, 1766; Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.303.

From: Contrafactur und Beschreibung von den vornembsten Stetten der Welt. Liber quartus Köln, Bertram Büchholtz, 1590. (Van der Krogt 4, 41:2.1)

Translation of cartouche text: Accurate drawing of the Danish strait or sound.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN (on verso): "At this place the islands of Zealand and Scania, with foothills rising on both sides, lie so close to each other that there is scarcely one mile between them. Through this strait, called Oresund, many rivers from Germany, Livonia, Sweden and Russia, which have entered the Baltic Sea, rush past due to a difference in altitude into the great sea between Jutland, Denmark and Norway. All ships that pass through the sound have to stop at this place in order to pay their respects to the castle as the royal residence by lowering their sails and to pay customs dues on their cargo to the royal treasurer."

This bird's-eye view from the west demonstratively presents the sound as a Danish inland sea, in order to counter the Swedish claims to it. The cities of Helsingborg, Landskrona and Malmö, which were Danish at the time, and the Island of Ven can clearly be seen. In the foreground is the city of Helsingor with its late Gothic cathedral of St Olai, completed in the 15th century. In the sound a sea batlle is taking place, and Kronborg castle is under attack. This was a strategically important fortress, where the Sound Toll was collected from passing non-Danish ships. Kronborg castle entered world literature around 1600 as the scene of Shakespeare's play Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. (Taschen)


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 of 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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