MERCATOR, Gerard (1512-1594) and MERCATOR Rumold (ca 1545-1599). Galliae Tabule Geographicae. Duisburg: [1585 - 1589].

$ 16,000.00

MERCATOR, Gerard (1512-1594) and MERCATOR Rumold (ca 1545-1599). Galliae Tabule Geographicae. -- Belgii Inferiores Geographicae Tabule -- Germaniae Tabule Geographicae - Italiae, Sclavoniae, et Graecie. Duisburg: [1585 - 1589].

Folio (15 x 11 inches). Dedication dated 1585. Frontispiece portrait of Mercator by Hogenberg dated 1574 (preliminaries quite loose), four engraved title-pages with broad and elaborate allegorical borders with classical and mannerist motifs (the first remargined at an early date and with later insect damage) and 59 fine double-page engraved maps (of 73, without from part one: Gallia, Britannia & Normandia, Aquitania, France Picardie, Poictou; from part II: Belgii Inferioris; part III: Germania, Austria Archiducatus; part IV: Italia, Forum Iulium, Tuscia, Marchia Anconitana, and Morea), and one single page, all with fine contemporary hand-color, descriptive letterpress on the recto of each map, each verso blank, woodcut initials (some marginal waterstaining, a few maps with brittle areas caused by oxidation, one or two early repairs to versos). Early full sheep with large arabesque design in blind and lettered "Atlas 1745" on each cover (quite worn, with the remains of two pairs of silk ties).

Provenance: with the 18th-century ownership inscriptions of J.I. Becker, "pastoris", 1760 and W.W. Wolff, "vicarii", 1761, above the portrait of Mercator; ink library stamp of Schloss Rimburg, Aachen, on the front paste-down; Swann Galleries, 5th December, 2013, lot 101

The Mercator firm's earliest collection of modern maps, first issued in 1585 by Gerard Mercator, initially issued separately or combined with the second part "Italia" published in 1589. Mercator was born in Rupelmonde in East Flanders. He studied in Louvain under Gemma Frisius, a Dutch astronomer and mathematician, and began his career as a cartographer in that city, where the excellence of his work eventually won him the patronage of Charles V. In order to escape religious persecution, he moved in 1552 to Duisburg. There, he continued to produce maps, globes and instruments, including his most celebrated work, a world map on eighteen sheets drawn to his new projection (1569). In later life he devoted himself to the preparation of his three-volume collection of maps to which, for the first time, the word "atlas" was applied. The word was chosen, he wrote, "to honor the Titan, Atlas, King of Mauritania, a learned philosopher, mathematician, and astronomer." Mercator's sons and grandsons were all cartographers and made their contributions in various ways to the great atlas. His son Rumold, in particular, was responsible for the complete edition of 1595. Koeman Me 9 and Me 11.