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Contemporary prints and maps of the battles and sieges of the Eighty Years War

Hendrick Hondius I (1573-1650): The Hague

Siege of Breda, 1624

Breue descriptione della citta, & paese di / Bredà con l’assedio del Marchese Spinola postoui à 28 d’Agosto / di l’Anno 1624… Briefve discription de la ville & siege de / Breda, assiegé le 28 d’Aougst 1624 par le... published 1624

Engraved map printed from two copperplates on two sheets of paper, joined. Separate letterpress text printed on two sheets of paper, joined. Map and text joined together and then mounted on paper (Mount Type A); gilt edges top, right and bottom. | Scale: 1:35,000 approx. | RCIN 722011

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A map of the middle stages of the siege of Breda, defended by Justinus van Nassau (1559-1631), carried on by the Spanish army, commanded by Ambrogio Spinola 1st Marquis of the Balbases (1569-25 September 1630) between 28 August 1624 and 5 June 1625 resulting in a Spanish victory. Eighty Years War (1568-1648). Oriented with east-south-east to top (compass rose).

This is a later state of the example at Bibliothèque nationale de France, département Estampes et photographie, RESERVEFT4-QB-201(170). The BnF example lacks the left hand plate and also lacks details which have been added to the Royal Collection example. These include extensive new works north of Breda, a double-line boundary to the whole of the square ‘Perck’ (top left of the inset), tree-lined roads to the right of the compass rose, more trenches behind (north-west of) the line of redoubts west of the village of Terheyden, many more tree symbols in the top left corner, and closely engraved lines representing a flooded area on the north side of the Mark river, all of which are absent on the earlier BnF example

The letterpress text which accompanies the BnF example is entitled Korte beschrijvinge van / de Stadt en Lande Breda, met de beleghe= / ringhe van den Marquis Spinola, / den 28sten Augusti Anno 1624. The latest date referred to in this text is 4 September 1624.

This Royal Collection example therefore represents a later stage of the siege than the date of 28 August 1624 which appears in the title and, according to the text, illustrates the state of affairs on 15 October 1624, by which time the Dutch army, commanded by Maurice of Nassau, had encamped north of the Spanish lines and had begun to dig a trench towards them. This is shown on the left hand plate where the Dutch army is encamped at Made.

  • Hendrick Hondius I (1573-1650): The Hague (publisher) [bottom right:] Met Privill. vande Ho: Mo: Staten Generael. / In s’Graven=Hagbe / Ten huyse van Henricus Hondius. anno 1624.

  • Watermark: A pot or jug

    Condition: several fold lines to map and letterpress text which are not common to each other, i.e. map and printed text have lived separate lives before they were joined; small tear, bottom, right of centre, and 2.6 cm tear in text bottom right; brown discolouration and staining. One fold line to the mount which does not coincide with any of the map or text folds; a paper repair has been made to the bottom right corner of the text and to the centre left of the mount; brown spotting and staining and surface dirt to map, text and mount; pressure marks from the mounts of items which were kept above and below this map/print in a different collection are present on the recto and verso

  • Scale: 1:35,000 approx. Scale bar: Roeden van 20 voeten [99 mm =] 600.

    48.3 x 55.4 cm (image and sheet of whole object)

    cropped (platemark)

    54.9 x 40.6 cm (mount)

    30.1 x 9.6 cm (image and sheet of left plate)

    30.1 x 44.9 cm (image and sheet of right plate)

    30.1 x 54.5 cm (image and sheet of map)

  • Printed title:

    Breue descriptione della citta, & paese di / Bredà con l’assedio del Marchese Spinola postoui à 28 d’Agosto / di l’Anno 1624 … Briefve discription de la ville & siege de / Breda, assiegé le 28 d’Aougst 1624 par le Marquis Spinola … [No title on map; the text on map is in Dutch. Title in Italian and French on accompanying letterpress text.]

    Inset:

    [bottom right, no title; small-scale map of the surrounding area.] Scale: Scale bar Brabantsche mylen [67 mm = ] 4. Size: 10.4 x 8.2 cm. 

    Additional text:

    [letterpress explanatory text in four columns, in Italian and French pasted to bottom of map, gives an account of the siege.]

    Annotations:

    George III heading: Breda 27 August 1624 - 5 June 1625.

    Other annotations: (Recto) [top right, black pencil:] 1624. (Verso) none.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Breda Plan de la Ville et Siege de Breda, assiegée le 28 d’Aoust 1624 par le Marquis Spinola; par Hondius, 1624; avec une Description.

  • From the collection of Cassiano dal Pozzo (1588-22 October 1657); inherited by his brother, Carlo Antonio dal Pozzo (1606-1689); sold by Carlo Antonio’s grandson to Clement XI, 1703; acquired by Cardinal Alessandro Albani by 1714, from whom purchased by George III in 1762

  • Subject(s)

    Breda, North Brabant, Netherlands (51°35'11"N  04°46'33"E)

  • Bibliographic reference(s)

    M. McDonald, The Print Collection of Cassiano dal Pozzo. Part II, Architecture, Topography and Military Maps, 3 vols, London 2019, cat. no. 2846

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