Chios Maris Aegaei eiusdem nominis Insulae Civitas.
$550 / ≈ €474
Estimate: $720 - $850
Bidder pays on top of the hammer price:
The engraving shows the port and capital of Chios, seen from the east in a bird's-eye view. The town is represented as divided into the strongly fortified Byzantine Kastro and the town itself, which is defended on the landward side by massive watchtowers with a moat and a drawbridge.
Windmills line the coast; a canon fires out to sea from a tower on the sea wall; numerous ships and galleys are seen.
The city is often locally referred to as "Chora" (???a; literally meaning "town") or "Kastro" (??st??) to distinguish it from the entirety of the island with which it shares the name.
Originally the site of an ancient settlement, the town was first built at the north side of a natural harbor. By the 16th century, the walled town had been further fortified by successive rulers into a massive medieval castle, the "Kastro".
TRANSLATION OF CARTOUCHE TEXT: Chios, city on the eponymous island in the Aegean Sea.
COMMENTARY BY BRAUN (on verso): "Chios is one of the Ionian Islands, where there is a city that is renowned for its seaport [...], which Thucydides calls the greatest and richest of all Ionian cities.
There is nothing more famous on this island than the wine that bears its name: known as Chian wine, it is of all Greek wines the best, as both Strabo and Aelian confirm. [...] The island is just as famous, however, for a tree called Lentiscus in Latin that is native to it and from which gum or resin drips, which is known as mastic."
The engraving shows the seaport of Chora, the capital of Chios, seen from the east in a bird's-eye view. The town is represented as divided into the strongly fortified Byzantine Castro and the town itself, which is defended on the landward side by massive watchtowers with a moat and a drawbridge. The fringe of windmills lining the coast indicates how fertile the island is.
In antiquity Chios was an important trading center and was also famous for its vineyards and mastic plantations. The island was under Venetian hegemony (1204-1304), then it went to Genoa and in 1566 to the Ottoman Empire. The 10th-century church of Aghios Nikolaos (right) was used as a mosque from that date.
Chios's mastic and silk production secured it a broad measure of autonomy.
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.
Reference: Van der Krogt 4 - #881 State 1; Fauser - #2605; Taschen, Br. Hog. - p.344
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