Copenhagen
Braun and Hogenberg, Cologne: 1572-1617
View of Copenhagen
View of Copenhagen, top detail
View of Copenhagen, bottom detail
View of Copenhagen, bottom detail View of Copenhagen, top detail
View of Copenhagen

Full sheet

Georg Braun (1541-1622) and Frans Hogenberg (1535-1590)
Hafnia — Kopenhagen [Copenhagen]
from Civitates Orbis Terrarum
Cologne: c. 1587
Hand-colored engraving
14.25 x 16.5 inches, border
17 x 20.75 inches, overall
$1,200

Double view of Copenhagen, Denmark, from Civitates Orbis Terrarum,an important 16th-century series of city and town views. The city is titled with its medieval name, Hafnia, and its German name, Kopenhagen. A caption in the center gives the date of the view as 1587.

The two detailed vistas capture the Danish capital city from different vantage points, emphasizing its role as an important seaport and trading center. The top view from the mainland shows the tall spire of the Church of Our Lady on the left and a castle on the right. Horse drawn coaches approach the city through fields dotted with windmills. The bottom view captures the bustling maritime activity, from the vantage of one of the offshore islands that shelter the harbor. Tall ships are docked in the waters and mercantile buildings the shore. A rowboat approaches a small group of men who gesture to them from a small outcropping connected to a row of boulders.

Braun & Hogenberg were co-publishers of the monumental Civitates Orbis Terrarum, the earliest systematic city atlas. Designed as a companion to Abraham Ortelius’ Theatrum Orbis Terrarum world atlas, this enormous work, which was expanded to incorporate over 500 plans and views, is one of the most ambitious book publishing ventures of all time, and certainly among the greatest achievements in the history of cartography. Georg Braun, a Canon of Cologne Cathedral, compiled the accompanying text, printed on the reverse. Most of the engravings were made by Simon Novellanus and Frans Hogenberg. Many of the plates were engraved after original drawings by Joris Hoefnagel (1542-1600), who travelled extensively throughout Europe.

Caption center: Hafnia vulgo Copenhagen urbs Daniae primaria qua se terra marique conspiciendam exhiber. Anno Salutis M.D. LXXXVII. [Hafnia, commonly known as Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, a noteworthy sight on land and on water. In the year 1587.]

Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning, wear, handling, soft creases.