Auction 147, Lot 16

"[Untitled - World]", Ptolemy/Fries

Subject: World

Period: 1535 (published)

Publication: Claudii Ptolemaei Alexandrini Geographicae…

Color: Black & White

18.2 x 11.7 inches
46.2 x 29.7 cm

This is one of three world maps included in Fries' Ptolemaic atlas and one of the few early 16th century world maps available to collectors. This striking woodblock world map is a reduced-scale version of Waldseemuller's Ptolemaic map of 1513, which was on the traditional modified conical projection. The area above 65 degrees north is noted as Mare Congelatum (Frozen Sea). The map is surrounded by 12 wind heads representing the classical winds blowing from each direction. This edition was printed by Melchoir and Gaspar Treschel and edited by Michael Villanovus (known as Servetus). Servetus was charged with heresy by John Calvin in 1553, in part due to the text in this atlas. The courts found him guilty and sentenced him to burning at the stake, atop a pyre of his own books, including this atlas. This 1535 edition is considered to be rarer than Fries' editions of 1522, 1525 and 1541.

References: Shirley #47; Mickwitz & Miekkavaara #209-1.

Condition: B+

Watermarked paper with wide margins, faint spots, and light toning along centerfold and sheet edges. There are a number of small worm holes that have been expertly infilled, with a small amount of image in facsimile.

Estimate: $4,000 - $4,750

Sold for: $3,000

Closed on 11/20/2013