Dithmarschen – Thietmarsiae (..); A. Ortelius / P. Boeckel – 1608/1612

Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598) / Pieter Boeckel (1530-1599).

Contemporary colored map of Dithmarschen in Northern Germany. Published in the famous Theatrum Orbis Terrarum by Ortelius.

Zeitgenössische kolorierte Landkarte von Dithmarschen in Norddeutschland. Veröffentlicht im berühmten Theatrum Orbis Terrarum von Ortelius.


1 in stock


A nice map of Dithmarschen in Northern Germany, originally drawn by Pieter Boeckel. The map covers an area between the Elbe river in the South and the Eider river in the North. It is further enriched by a title cartouche, a milescale and a sea monster.

Eine schöne Karte von Dithmarschen in Norddeutschland, ursprünglich gezeichnet von Pieter Boeckel. Die Karte umfasst ein Gebiet zwischen der Elbe im Süden und der Eider im Norden. Es wird weiter durch eine Titelkartusche, eine Meilenskala und ein Seeungeheuer bereichert.


  • Type: cartographic print
  • Title: Thietmarsiae, Holsaticae Regionis Partis Typus. Ayctire Petro Boeckel.
  • Publication: 1608/1612
  • Technique: copper engraving, contemporary colored
  • Carthographer: Pieter Boeckel
  • Illustrator: Abraham Ortelius
  • Mapped: 1570 ca.
  • Theatrum Orbis Terrarum by Johan Baptist Vrients Antwerp
  •   30.8 x 19.5 cm (12.1 x 7.7 inches)
  • 46.3 x 28.0 cm (18.2 x 11.0 inches)
  • Verso: Italian text
  • 9450D
  • Source: Van den Broecke: 90A / Koe III Ort 38/42 [30]

Condition: A

Very good, given its age. Half page as issued with original margins. Sharp print with bright coloring on sturdy paper. Margins bit tanned, exterior with golden layer.

Sehr gut, dem Alter entsprechend. Halbe Seite wie ausgegeben mit Originalrändern.  Scharfer Druck mit leuchtenden Farben auf festem Papier. Ränder etwas gebräunt. Außenrand mit Goldauflage.


Abraham Ortelius is perhaps the best known and most frequently collected of all sixteenth-century mapmakers. Ortelius started his career as a map engraver. In 1547 he entered the Antwerp guild of St Luke as afsetter van Karten. In 1560, while traveling with Gerard Mercator he seems to have been attracted towards a career as a scientific geographer. From that point forward, he devoted himself to the compilation his Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Theatre of the World), which would become the first modern atlas.

In 1564 he completed his “mappemonde“, an eight-sheet map of the world. The only extant copy of this great map is in the library of the University of Basle. Ortelius also published a map of Egypt in 1565, a plan of Brittenburg Castle on the coast of the Netherlands, and a map of Asia, prior to 1570.

In 1570, the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum first appeared in an edition of 53 maps. The Theatrum was the best available summary of 16th-century cartographic knowledge, covering much of the exploration of the world in the century following the discovery of America. Most of the maps in Ortelius Theatrum were drawn from the works of a number of other mapmakers from around the world; a list of 87 authors is given by Ortelius himself.

The broad appeal of the Theatrum saw demand from many consumers who preferred to read the atlas in their local language. Thus, in addition to Latin, the book was published with text in Dutch, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and English.

By the time of his death in 1598, a total of 25 editions were published including editions in Latin, Italian, German, French, and Dutch. Later editions would also be issued in Spanish and English by Ortelius’ successors, Vrients and Plantin, the former adding a number of maps to the atlas, the final edition of which was issued in 1612. Most of the maps in Ortelius Theatrum were drawn from the works of a number of other mapmakers from around the world; a list of 87 authors is given by Ortelius himself

After Ortelius’s death in 1598, the copper plates for his atlas passed to his heirs. They, in turn, sold the collection to Jan Baptist Vrients (1522-1612) in 1601. Vrients added new maps and published the atlas until his death in 1612. Vrients’s widow then sold the plates to the Moretus brothers, who were the successors of Christoffel Plantin.

In 1573, Ortelius published seventeen supplementary maps under the title of Additamentum Theatri Orbis Terrarum. In 1575 he was appointed geographer to the king of Spain, Philip II, on the recommendation of Arias Montanus, who vouched for his orthodoxy (his family, as early as 1535, had fallen under suspicion of Protestantism). In 1578 he laid the basis of a critical treatment of ancient geography with his Synonymia geographica (issued by the Plantin press at Antwerp and republished as Thesaurus geographicus in 1596). In 1584 he issued his Nomenclator Ptolemaicus, a Parergon (a series of maps illustrating ancient history, sacred and secular.) Late in life, he also aided Welser in his edition of the Peutinger Table in 1598.

Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598) was een Brabantse geograaf en uitgever uit Antwerpen. Ortelius is samen met Mercator de uitvinder van de wereldatlas. Zijn ‘Theatrum Orbis Terrarum’ bracht hem grote roem. Belangrijke illustratoren en graveurs als Joris Hoefnagel en Frans Hogenberg waren werkzaam voor hem. In 1573 werd hij benoemd tot geograaf van Philips II. Na Ortelius dood werden de koperplaten gekocht door Jean Baptiste Vrients en de firma Platijn-Moretus.