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Lot number: 36842
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Publisher: BRAUN,G. / HOGENBERG, F.
Title: Calechut Celeberrimum Indiae Emporium [on sheet with] Ormus [and] Canonor [and] S. Georgii Oppidum Mina.
Published: Cologne, (1572) 1577

Size: 13.3 x 18.7 inches.
33.8 x 47.4 cm.
Colouring: In original colours.
Condition:  Latin text on verso. Some very light discolouration in lower center fold, in general in very fine condition.
 Condition Rating

Four very desirable and early town-plans of Kozhikode, Hormuz, Kannur and Almina.
"KOZHIKODE (CALICUT) : "The city is viewed from the sea, just as it would have appeared to the astonished eyes of the Portuguese explorers arriving from the west. For when Vasco da Gama landed at Kappad, some 25 km from Calicut (today Koshikode) in 1498, it marked an important moment in European history: the sea route to India had finally been discovered. Excluding a foreign air, Calicut appears within a forest of palm trees, set against a backdrop of mountains and with numerous ships in the foreground. The royal procession can be seen on the beach in front of the city, and to the right a working elephant with its driver. Kozhikode had already established itself as an important center of power and trade even before Vasco da Gama's arrival. After taking the city in 1538, the Portuguese built a fort and from 1540 held the spice-trade monopoly. Kozhikode, which lies on the Malabar Coast in the Indian state of Kerla, today has some 445,000 inhabitants. . ." . (Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.122.)

HORMUZ : "The plate shows Hormuz on an island, in a stereotypical view that is probably a product of the draughtsman's imagination. The city is made up of tall, foreign-seeming houses with flat roofs, built close together, and is surrounded by a solid wall. Hormuz was captured in 1507 by Alfonso de Albuquerque and remained firmly in Portuguese hands from 1515 to 1622. Due to its position on the Strait of Hormuz - one of the most important straits in the world - at the entrance to the Persian Gulf, 16 km off the coast of Iran, the rocky island remains an important strategic location and a major center of trade for the Arab world.. " (Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.122.)

KANNUR : "The view shows the town of Kannur - formerly Anglicized as Cannanore - from the west. As in many engravings of Indian cities, the foreignness of the country is symbolized by palm trees and the simple architecture of the houses. In 1502 Kannur became a strategic base and trading port for the Portuguese, who shipped spices to Europe from here. In 1504 Francisco de Almeida, viceroy of India, built the castle mentioned in the text, Fort St Angelo, which is located 3 km from the town. . .". (Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.128.)

ELMINA) : "The view of Mina (Elmina in modern-day Ghana) shows a small, fenced village (pagus) lying beside the massive castle of São Jorge da Mina, which was built in 1482 in order to protect the most important gold trading post on Africa's Gold Coast. The fort was the first European stronghold on Black African soil and remained the headquarters of the Portuguese in Africa up till 1637, when it was conquered by the Dutch. Due to its gold reserves, the African village that lay near the fort was called El Mina ("The Mine") by the Portuguese and in 1486 was granted a Portuguese municipal charter. Between the end of the 16th century and Ghana's independence, the villages around El Mina converged to become Elmina or Edina state.." . (Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.128.)

From volume one of the greatest publication in this genre!. The Civitates was compiled and written by George Braun, Canon of Cologne Cathedral. Braun gathered together vast amounts of information and draft plans to produce over 500 city views/maps published in six parts between 1572 and 1617. Most of these engravings were made by Simon Novellanus and Frans Hogenberg, many after drawings by Joris Hoefnagel.
Read more about the Civitates Orbis.


Reference: Koeman (1967-70) B & H 1-5, NMM III, i, 459 (1573-1618 ed.), Introduction', in: G. Braun and F. Hogenberg, Civitates orbis terrarum (Amsterdam: 1965). (2).

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