Auction 139, Lot 33

"[Lot of 2] Facies Una Hemisphaerii Terrestris [and] Facies Altera Hemisphaerii Terrestris", Zahn, Johannes

Subject: World

Period: 1696 (published)

Publication: Mundus Mirabili

Color: Black & White

16.5 x 14 inches
41.9 x 35.6 cm

This very scarce world map is presented as a pair of hemispheres, printed on two separate sheets. The cartography is based on contemporary Dutch maps and is consistent for the period. In North America, California is shown as an island with a flat northern coastline, the Straet Anian hints at a possible Northwest Passage, and there is a single, large open-ended Great Lake. Partial coastlines for Australia and New Zealand, and numerous islands appear in the Pacific. The Asia continent is truncated without any indication of Kamchatka or the spurious Yedso, which does show up on the Western Hemisphere sheet (just to cover all the bases). The surrounding decorations are presented in an unique and original manner with a broad zodiacal band at the top of each hemisphere, and the bottom corners filled with graceful female representations of the four seasons and cherubs representing the four elements. Johann Zahn (1641-1707) was a German mathematician and philosopher who is known for his creation of an advanced camera obscura. He was also the author of a number of curious scientific publications including the Mundus Mirabili (Marvelous World).

References: Shirley #584; Burden #723.

Condition: B+

A tear that crosses the bottom left corner of image (near the putti) has been expertly repaired in the Americas map that can't be detected on the face of the map. There is minor soiling in the margins and some very light printer’s ink residue in the image.

Estimate: $3,750 - $4,500


Closed on 2/15/2012