Catalog Archive
Auction 145, Lot 51

"Solis Circa Orbem Terrarum Spiralis Revolutio", Cellarius, Andreas

Subject: Celestial

Period: 1661 (circa)

Publication: Harmonia Macrocosmica…

Color: Hand Color

19.5 x 17 inches
49.5 x 43.2 cm
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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.

This attractive celestial chart centers on the eastern hemisphere of the earth, surrounded by the spiral revolutions of the sun and a band depicting the signs of the zodiac. The drape-style title cartouche floats in the sky, with clouds and putti holding birds tethered to ribbons in the background.

References: Kanas, p. 191-94.

Condition: B+

Attractive color with very light toning, a few minor spots, and some offsetting.

Estimate: $2,400 - $3,000

Sold for: $1,400

Closed on 6/12/2013