ORTELIUS, Abraham (1527-1598). Theatro de la Tierra Universal. Antwerp: Chistopher Plantin, 1588.

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ORTELIUS, Abraham (1527-1598).
Theatro de la Tierra Universal.
Antwerp: Chistopher Plantin, 1588.

Folio (16 4/8 x 11 4/8 inches). Elaborate engraved allegorical title-page, double-page world map "Typus Orbis Terrarum", undated and with the South American coastline retaining its distinctive bulge [Shirley 153, state 2] (small separation at foot of the centre-fold), 99 double-page maps of the world, and historiated initials, all with MAGNIFICENTLY RICH CONTEMPORARY HAND COLOR IN FULL (without A4, the portrait of Ortelius, the map of Spain a bit creased with one or two short marginal tears occasionally crossing the image, and strengthened at an early date along the verso of the left-hand edge and the centre-fold, short early repair to tear on verso of map of Crete), extra-illustrated with large folding prospectus for a map of the Kingdom of Portugal, to be printed in Salamanca, ca 1738-1753, tipped-in after the Contents, and a small folding engraved plate "Carta del Viage de los Israelites", 1747, at end. Beautiful full 17th-century Spanish mottled sheep, the spine in seven compartments, with six raised bands, tan morocco lettering-piece in the second, the others decorated with fine gilt tools of bunches of daisies interspersed with small cleft pomegranate of Aragon tools, French hand-coloured decorative endpapers captioned "A Paris chez Les Associes No 119" (lower cover and extremities a bit scuffed).

Provenance: with the near contemporary ownership inscription at the head of the dedication leaf "Juan de Calder doscientos" and offset onto the verso of the title-page; profuse 18th-century annotations in a neat Spanish script, adding historical context and referencing important relevant texts throughout, with a Table of Contents "Tabla de las Mapas de Cite Libro", in the same hand, dated 14th August, 1757, tipped in after the printed Contents; with an autograph document signed by Ambrosio Gonzalez, dated 19th April 1858, conferring a military command, loosely inserted. The first edition in Spanish, and the first of Ortelius's atlases to be entirely published, rather than printed, by Christopher Plantin. Subsequently published in 1602 by Vrients, with 117 maps, and in 1609-1612 with 128 maps