Auction 150, Lot 53

Cellarius' Chart Depicting the Phases of the Moon

"Typus Selenographicus Lunae Phases et Aspectus Varios Adumbrans", Cellarius/Schenk & Valck

Subject: Solar System, Moon

Period: 1708 (published)

Publication: Atlas Coelestis seu Harmonia Macrocosmica

Color: Hand Color

20.2 x 17 inches
51.3 x 43.2 cm

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 fascinating chart depicts the eight phases of the moon surrounding the earth on a bed of clouds, with a human-faced sun shining from the top of the chart. Both the western and eastern hemispheres are depicted on earth on a north-polar projection. California is shown as an island with a rounded northern coastline. In the bottom corners are additional diagrams showing the phases of the moon in relation to the sun and the names of the phases and aspects of the moon. The drape-style title cartouches are held aloft by putti. Engraved by Joannes van Loon.

References: Kanas, p. 191-94; McLaughlin, Celestial #3; Van der Krogt (Vol. I) #HM19:1.

Condition: B+

A nice impression with attractive original color and a few centerfold separations that have been professionally repaired. Trimmed to neatlines and expertly remargined on all sides with old, period correct paper.

Estimate: $1,900 - $2,200

Sold for: $1,000

Closed on 9/17/2014