Auction 137, Lot 1

"[Lot of 3 - Title Pages]", Munster, Sebastian

Subject: Title Pages

Period: 1550-1614 (circa)

Publication: Cosmography

Color: Hand Color

See Description

Sebastian Munster (1489 - 1552) was one of the three most renowned cartographers of the sixteenth century, along with Mercator and Ortelius. Munster's Geographia and Cosmographia Universalis were two of the most widely read and influential books of the period. His editions of Ptolemy's Geographia, published between 1540 and 1552, were illustrated with 48 woodcut maps, the standard 27 Ptolemaic maps supplemented by 21 new maps. These new maps included a separate map of each of the known continents and marked the development of regional cartography in Central Europe. The antique geography was a prelude to Munster's major work, the Cosmographia, which was published in nearly 30 editions in six languages between 1544 and 1578 and then was revised and reissued by Sebastian Petri from 1588 to 1628. The Cosmographia was a geographical as well as historical and ethnographic description of the world. It contained the maps from the Geographia plus additional regional maps and city views with nearly 500 illustrations which made it one of the most popular pictorial encyclopedias of the sixteen century.

A. Das Erste Buch der Cosmography oder Weltbeschreibung… contains an interesting woodblock engraving (6.2 x 4.4") showing God's creation of the heavens and the earth. The quaint view is supported by angels at top, and demons in the lower corners. Printed on a full sheet (8.3 x 13.4") of German text. Condition: Some faint spots and a damp stain, far from map image. (A)

B. This is the colophon from a 1614 German edition. On the verso is an intricate woodcut (3.5 x 4.5") marking the "End of the Eight Books of the Cosmographen." On a full sheet (7 x 11.5") of German text. Condition: Some minor spots in bottom-left corner, else very good. (B+)

C. Sei Libri Della Cosmografia Universale is from an Italian edition. It shows a woodblock map (5.8 x 5.8") of the Eastern Hemisphere with a ship sailing in the Indian Ocean. The world is surrounded by a ring of clouds and then a ring of fire, with four wind heads blowing from the four corners. On verso is a portrait (5.3 x 6.5") of Sebastian Munster at age 60. Ref: Manasek p. 274. Condition: A few small, unobtrusive stains with a repair in the upper-left margin that enters map image 1/2". (C+)



See description.

Estimate: $250 - $325

Sold for: $400

Closed on 9/14/2011