Auction 113, Lot 738

"Tabula Geographica Hydrophylacium Asiae Majoris", Kircher, Athanasius

Subject: Southern Asia

Period: 1665 (circa)

Publication: Mundus Subterraneus

Color: Black & White

16 x 13.3 inches
40.6 x 33.8 cm

The Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher was one of the first compilers of semi-scientific knowledge about the physical features of the world. This very unusual map depicts all of southern Asia from the Arabian peninsula to the Philippines including the East Indies to the Celebes. It extends north to show part of the Caspian Sea. The map has limited political detail with only regions and countries named, plus the principal rivers, lakes and mountains. A huge subterranean lake in the area of Nepal and Tibet is the principle source for most of the rivers in Asia. Decorative title cartouche features angels or putti, and Neptune. Kircher's "Mundus subterraneus" (The Underground World) was the first serious effort to describe the physical makeup of the earth, proposing theories (sometimes fantastic) in the areas of physics, geography, geology, and chemistry.


Condition: B

Lovely, dark impression on a full sheet of hand laid paper with full margins. Slight hint of toning and a spot at upper right and left, otherwise very good to fine.

Estimate: $500 - $600

Sold for: $800

Closed on 12/7/2005