Cypri Insulae Nova Descript. 1573

Abraham Ortelius (*1527 - 1598)
Coloured map of Cyprus. Printed in Antwerp by Jan Baptist Vrients in 1603.

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Reference 11921



Early and important map of Cyprus by Abraham Ortelius. The geographical details are based on the map of Cyprus by Giacomo Franco from 1570. Below right a inset map of Lemnos, based on notes by Pierre Belon from 1555. Decorated with three beautiful cartouches, three sailing ships and a sea monster. First published in 1573 in Theatrum Orbis Terrarum by Ortelius. This example comes from the Latin edition of 1603. Latin text on verso. The plate is signed and engraved by the Dutch master engraver J. van Deutecum.


CartographerAbraham Ortelius
TitleCypri Insulae Nova Descript. 1573
Publisher, YearJan Baptist Vrients, Antwerp, 1603
Plate Size35.3 x 50.2 cm (13.9 x 19.8 inches)
Sheet Size47.2 x 54.8 cm (18.6 x 21.6 inches)
ReferenceVan den Broecke, M.: Ortelius Atlas Maps, No. 149; Zacharakis, C.G.: A Catalogue of Printed Maps of Greece, 1477-1800, No. 2490/1614; Van der Krogt, P.: Koeman's Atlantes Neerlandici, 8130:31B.1


Lower corners slightly browned, small wormhole in centrefold backed. Very good condition.


Abraham Ortelius was born 1527 in Antwerp. He studied mathematics, Greek and Latin and travelled a lot across Europe. He established a business in dealing with books and drawing maps. His first remarkable map was a 8 sheet world map in the year 1564, but only three copies have survived. In 1570 he issued the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, the first modern Atlas with uniformly sized maps in a systematic collection. The term Atlas was not used until Mercator introduced it 20 years later. Most of the maps in Theatrum have been engraved by Frans Hogenberg. At the time of publication, the atlas was the most expensive book ever printed. Nevertheless it was a big success and around 7000 copies have been printed until 1612 in many editions and six different languages. Beside the Theatrum, Ortelius compiled a series of historical maps and published it in the Parergon Theatri which was bound with the Theatrum from 1579 onwards or published separately.

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Abraham Ortelius: Cypri Insulae Nova Descript. 1573.
Coloured map of Cyprus. Printed in Antwerp by Jan Baptist Vrients in 1603.

Cyprus - Ortelius, Abraham - Cypri Insulae Nova Descript. 1573

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