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Cartographica Helvetica


Mark Häberlein and Peter H. Meurer:

The oldest printed map of the Champagne and Stefan Keltenhofer

Cartographica Helvetica 27 (2003) 47–54


In the Catalogus auctorum in Abraham Ortelius's atlas, one of the most important sources for map production in the 16th century, a reference from 1570 can be found under Stefan Keltenhofer which states that a map of the Champagne was published in Antwerp 'with the omission of his name'. Before 1570 there was only one known map of Champagne, and the only printed example can be found in the baronial art collection in Wolfegg Castle in Württemberg. The woodcut (size 58 x 39.5 cm, scale approx. 1: 900,000) bears the imprint of the publishing house Tielmann Susato in Antwerp (active from 1529 to 1561) from September 1544. A sign in the form of the 'Antonius bell' refers to the woodcutter Cornelis Anthoniszoon from Amsterdam (1501–1556/57) who was working as a cartographer during that time.

An analysis of the contents shows that the map was constructed in part with the aid of a route index, and that the geometry was based on the coordinates by Ptolemy. In the early modern period this knowledge of the course of roads was particularly widespread among merchants. This trail leads to the probable author of the map. Stefan Keltenhofer was born in 1511 or 1512 in southern Germany (in Donauwörth?). He was a merchant in Antwerp since the 1540s. There he represented the trading company Herwart of Augsburg, and at times he was self-employed. Because of his merits in obtaining credit for financing the politics of Charles V, he was awarded the imperial coat of arms in 1545. As a result of the bankruptcy of the Spanish state, Keltenhofer became insolvent in 1557. The settlement of his debts lasted to his death on 5 April 1563 in Antwerp. He has never been mentioned in cartography in other respects.

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