Catalog Archive
Auction 153, Lot 689

"[Title on Verso] Tabula IX Asiae...", Waldseemuller/Fries

Subject: Pakistan & Afghanistan

Period: 1535 (circa)

Publication: Claudii Ptolemaei Alexadrini Geographicae…

Color: Hand Color

17.1 x 12 inches
43.4 x 30.5 cm

Claudius Ptolemy was a mathematician, astronomer and geographer who worked in Alexandria, then a part of the Roman Empire, in the 2nd century AD. One of the most learned and influential men of his time, his theories dominated both astronomy and geography for nearly 1500 years. His writings were kept alive by Arabic scholars during the Middle Ages and reemerged in Europe during the Renaissance. The birth of printing led to wide dissemination of his great works on astronomy and geography. There were a number of editions of his Geographia beginning in 1477. These early editions contained maps based on his original writings, known as Ptolemaic maps. As geographic knowledge increased with the explorations of Columbus, Magellan, Cabot and others, maps of the New World were added, and maps of the Old World were revised. Ptolemy's Geographia continued to be revised and published by some of the most important cartographers including Martin Waldseemuller, Sebastian Munster, Giacomo Gastaldi, Jodocus Hondius, and Gerard Mercator (whose last edition was published in 1730).

This rare Ptolemaic map covers the region of present-day Pakistan and part of Afghanistan. Convoluted mountain ranges and river systems dominate the trapezoidal map. The map is enhanced with a small illustration of a king. The title appears on verso along with Latin text and woodblock illustrations. Laurent Fries produced the woodblocks for this edition of Ptolemy's Geography in a reduced version of the Waldseemuller maps from the 1513 edition.

References: Mickwitz & Miekkavaara #209-42.

Condition: B

A nice impression with several extraneous creases and one tiny hole along the centerfold that has been archivally repaired. There are a number of chips and short tears in the blank margins that have also been repaired, with a minor amount of image on verso replaced in facsimile. Trimmed at sides, with minute loss of image on verso.

Estimate: $200 - $230

Sold for: $150

Closed on 5/20/2015