Catalog Archive
Auction 145, Lot 54

One of the Most Sought-after Charts from this Famous Work

"Planisphaerium Copernicanum sive Systema Universi Totius Creati ex Hypothesi Copernicana in Plano Exhibitum", Cellarius, Andreas

Subject: Solar System

Period: 1661 (circa)

Publication: Harmonia Macrocosmica…

Color: Hand Color

20.6 x 17.2 inches
52.3 x 43.7 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 magnificent chart depicts the Copernican solar system, based on his theory of a heliocentric solar system, published in the mid-sixteenth century. In this chart, the sun is depicted at center radiating outwards and surrounded by planetary rings with the twelve signs of the zodiac in the outer ring. The Earth is shown with its moon and Jupiter is shown with four moons. The title cartouche is split into two ornate Baroque banners. At bottom right is Copernicus with Galileo at bottom left, both pictured with instruments and globes. Galileo was a strong supporter of Copernicus' ideas, which resulted in him being sentenced to house arrest by the Inquisition in 1633.

References: Kanas, p. 191-94.

Condition: B+

Attractive color with light toning, minor offsetting, and archivally repaired centerfold separations in top and bottom blank margins.

Estimate: $2,400 - $3,000

Sold for: $1,900

Closed on 6/12/2013