Auction 116, Lot 46

"[Daniel's Dream Map]", Anon.

Subject: Cartographic Curiosity, Ancient World

Period: 1564 (published)


Color: Black & White

6.3 x 4.8 inches
16 x 12.2 cm

This unusual little map is also known as the Wittenberg world map. It represents Daniel's interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar's dream. This prophecy from Chapter 7 of the book of Daniel speaks of "the four winds of the heaven...and four great beasts [which] came up from the sea." The barely recognizable continents of the Old World - Europe, Asia and Africa - are depicted with the four beasts of Daniel's dream. The world is surrounded by wind heads in a blustery sky and a stormy ocean. Theologians at Wittenberg interpreted this dream as a foretelling of the victory of the Turks at the Battle of Mohacs in 1526, and the image remained popular for several decades thereafter. The map first appeared in a commentary on the prophet Daniel by Martin Luther in circa 1529, and is often attributed to the printer Hans Lufft. For this later edition, the woodblock was recut and surrounded in an elaborate picture-frame style border. It was published in a Wittenberg Bible with text above and below the map (page size 9.8 x 15.7").

References: cf Shirley #65.

Condition: A

Lightly toned with minor damp stains in blank margins.

Estimate: $1,100 - $1,400

Sold for: $800

Closed on 9/20/2006