Auction 133, Lot 53

"Tabula Selenographica in qua Lunarium Macularum exacta Descriptio secundum Nomenclaturam Praestantissimorum Astronomorum tam Hevelii quam Riccioli", Doppelmayr/Homann

Subject: Moon

Period: 1740 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

22.6 x 19 inches
57.4 x 48.3 cm

This is a magnificent double hemisphere map of the surface of the moon. Both spheres depict the same side of the moon and are filled with topography, using place names following the nomenclature of Riccioli (on the right) and Hevelius (on the left). Riccioli named the features of the moon for famous people and scientists, while Hevelius named them after geographical features on the earth. Between the two spheres is a scheme of the phases of the moon and different lunar phases are represented in the four corners. The map is decorated at top with cherubs using a telescope and Diana, the goddess of the moon.

If you turn the map 90 degrees counter-clockwise and examine the sphere on the left, notice that the shaded area dominating the lower center of the sphere resembles the Mediterranean Sea. Hevelius named the landform in the middle of this region Sicilia and the crater in its center M. Aetna. For some 140 years, the two systems of lunar cartography competed with each other. Although Hevelius' system was influential, the cumbersome Latin names gave way to the easier to remember and more popular system devised by Riccioli - the system that left the possibility for scientists to someday have a lunar feature named for them!

References: Kanas pp. 258-59.

Condition: A

Sharp impression and fine original color with just a hint of toning along the upper centerfold.

Estimate: $1,300 - $1,600

Sold for: $800

Closed on 9/1/2010