Auction 149, Lot 45

"[Untitled - Delphinus]", Bayer, Johann

Subject: Celestial

Period: 1655 (circa)

Publication: Uranometria Omnium Asterismorun

Color: Hand Color

14.8 x 11 inches
37.6 x 27.9 cm

This very attractive, early constellation map depicts Delphius (dolphin). The plate was included in Bayer’s Uranometria Omnium Asterismorun in 1603, which is considered to be the first engraved star atlas with 51 constellations depicted. This example is from a later edition with no text on verso. The stars are identified by letters; Greek for the brightest, Roman for the fainter, with the order of the alphabets corresponding to decreasing brightness of the stars. Although a similar scheme had been introduced by Piccolomini (1540), it was Bayer's scheme that became universally accepted. Bayer based his constellation figures on the work of Jacobo de Gheyn and included stars from Ptolemy as well as the recent observations of Tycho Brahe and Keyser.

References: Kanas, pp. 155-56, 356; Warner, pp. 18-19.

Condition: B+

The map has been professionally painted in cobalt blue and gold highlights. There is some very minor extraneous creasing, and a small worm track that just touches the border at left has been repaired with old paper.

Estimate: $400 - $500

Sold for: $200

Closed on 5/21/2014