Catalog Archive
Auction 123, Lot 840

"Orbis Antiqui Tabulae Geographicae Secundum Cl. Ptolemaeum, cum Indice Philologico absolutissimo…", Ptolemy/Mercator

Subject: Atlases

Period: 1730 (dated)


Color: Black & White

12 x 19 inches
30.5 x 48.3 cm

This is the final edition of Mercator's Ptolemic atlas, published over 130 after his death. This very fine folio atlas contains three title pages, one in simple b&w text, a beautifully engraved allegorical title page and the main page printed in red and black with an intaglio illustration below the title featuring putti and two Spyinx. The 28 maps collate with the list of maps page. Although Mercator is most renowned today for the projection he popularized and for first using the term Atlas for a collection of maps, he devoted much of his life to his Ptolemaic maps. The maps were beautifully engraved as nearly as possible to their original form and embellished with fine cartouches; they are often considered among his finest work. The original blank end papers are present with the addition of extra new sheets. Rebound in very fine modern red leather with raised spine, gilt titling and embossing. Three tilte pages, Egregio Clarissimoque viro D. Abrahamo Westernveen J.C., Ad Lectorem Praefatio, Index Tabularum, 28 maps, Index. Published in Amsterdam by R. & J. Wetstein & William Smith. A spectacular example of this atlas.

References: Mickwitz & Miekkavaara (Nordenskiold-2) #235; Van der Krogt (Atlantes) 1:53.

Condition: A+

A fine example with clean, bright impressions. A little surface soiling on main title page, and a spot occasionally seen on a page. Covers fine with no rubbing or bumping.

Estimate: $4,000 - $6,000

Sold for: $6,500

Closed on 2/20/2008