Auction 148, Lot 55

"Systema Ideale Pyrophylaciorum Subterraneorum, Quorum Montes Vulcanii, Veluti Spiracula Quaedam Existant", Kircher, Athanasius

Subject: Cartographic Miscellany

Period: 1682 (published)

Publication: D'Onder-Aardse Weereld

Color: Hand Color

Size:
16.4 x 13.3 inches
41.7 x 33.8 cm

This unusual copper engraving shows a cross-section of the earth's interior with its magma core. The surface of the earth is shown with erupting volcanoes and ships sailing in the oceans. Clouds and four wind-heads surround the sphere. A decorative title cartouche completes the fanciful composition with a text panel below. The Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher was one of the first compilers of semi-scientific knowledge about the physical features of the world. This is from a Dutch edition of Kircher's masterpiece, an immense and amazing work covering all aspects of anything that dwelled or occurred within the earth's interior - from dragons, to fossils, to mountain springs, earthquakes, and volcanoes.

References:

Condition: A

A nice impression on watermarked paper with a few very minor creases. Tiny tears and chips that are confined to the blank margins have been professionally repaired.

Estimate: $1,600 - $1,900

Sold for: $3,000

Closed on 2/19/2014

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