Catalog Archive
Auction 135, Lot 769

"[6 Volumes] Cosmographey: das ist Beschreibung Aller Laender…", Munster/Petri

Subject: Atlases

Period: 1598 (dated)


Color: Black & White

8.8 x 13.5 inches
22.4 x 34.3 cm

Sebastian Munster probably had more influence in spreading geographical knowledge throughout Europe in the mid-sixteenth century than any of this contemporaries. His Cosmographia contained not only the latest maps and city views, but also included an encyclopedic amount of detail about the known, and unknown, world and its history. Henrich Petri, step-son of Sebastian Munster, was the publisher of Munster's Geographia and Cosmographia. After the death of his father in 1579, Sebastian Petri took over the publishing business and commissioned a completely new set of woodblocks for the Cosmographia. These blocks were crafted to emulate the finer detail and flourishes of copperplate engraving. They were based on the maps of Ortelius, except for the map of the Holy Land, which was based on the map of Tileman Stella, and the map of Silesia, which was based on the Martin Helwig map. The text was enlarged and there were several new maps added. This German edition is one of the largest of the Munster Cosmographia editions. It includes two world maps, the four continents, 20 regional maps, plus over 1200 woodcuts including 70 double-page and 2 large folding plans - Vienna and Heidelberg. These include the famous plates of Europa Regina, Munster's Monsters and numerous great city plans. Most issues from this period were printed on inferior quality paper; this edition is better quality paper than usual with minor text show through. Complete. Small folio, bound in six matching volumes, 18th century tree calf with gilt paneled covers and richly gilt spines. A good complete example of this sixteenth century description of the world, which is hardly ever found complete.

References: Shirley #162 & 163; Burden#67 & 68; Betz #21; Yeo #9; Tooley (MCC-1) #6.

Condition: B+

Light toning and damp stains, occasional foxing and some old manuscript brown ink notations. Some minor paper repairs were done when the set was rebound, including the folding plans (usually missing or severely damaged) which were partially backed with paper, with some minor loss. The monster plate has been remargined with some loss of neatlines. Bindings with some shelf wear and minor worming, all tight and sound. One volume with chip at head.

Estimate: $24,000 - $30,000

Sold for: $18,000

Closed on 2/16/2011