Catalog Archive
Auction 130, Lot 53

"Haemisphaerium Stellatum Boreale Antiquum", Cellarius, Andreas

Subject: Celestial

Period: 1660 (circa)

Publication: Harmonia Macrocosmica

Color: Hand Color

20.5 x 17.3 inches
52.1 x 43.9 cm
Download High Resolution Image
(or just click on image to launch the Zoom viewer)

The Dutch-German mathematician and cosmographer Andreas Cellarius is best known for his spectacular celestial atlas, the Harmonia Macrocosmica. His atlas contained a description of ancient and contemporary astronomy including the theories of Ptolemy, Copernicus, and Tycho Brahe. The atlas was illustrated with twenty-nine engraved plates that are among the most beautiful celestial charts ever made. The charts include illustrations of the heavens and diagrams of the orbits of the Sun, Moon, and planets according to the different cosmological theories. They were richly adorned with elaborate cartouches and baroque elements such as putti in clouds, shells, garlands, as well as portraits of famous astronomers and astronomical instruments. The Harmonia Macrocosmica was published in 1660, and reissued in 1661 by the Amsterdam publisher Johannes Jansson as a supplement to his Atlas Novus. The plates were reissued again in 1708 by the Amsterdam publishers Gerard Valk and Petrus Schenk.

One of the finest celestial charts from the golden age of Dutch cartography. The map presents the ancient Greek constellations of the Northern sky in traditional classical mythological form. Richly engraved in the baroque style with an elaborate cloud background filled with putti.

References: Kanas Fig 7.2; Warner p.53, 1A.

Condition: B

A small worm track extending 3 1/2" along the lower centerfold has been repaired and the old color is slightly faded. The map has been backed with light Japanese tissue.

Estimate: $2,200 - $3,000

Sold for: $2,000

Closed on 12/2/2009