Catalog Archive
Auction 157, Lot 528

"Germaniae Nationis Descriptio", Munster, Sebastian

Subject: Central Europe

Period: 1559 (published)

Publication: Cosmographiae Universalis...

Color: Hand Color

13.5 x 9.9 inches
34.3 x 25.1 cm

Sebastian Munster (1489 - 1552) was one of the three most renowned cartographers of the sixteenth century, along with Mercator and Ortelius. Munster's Geographia and Cosmographia Universalis were two of the most widely read and influential books of the period. His editions of Ptolemy's Geographia, published between 1540 and 1552, were illustrated with 48 woodcut maps, the standard 27 Ptolemaic maps supplemented by 21 new maps. These new maps included a separate map of each of the known continents and marked the development of regional cartography in Central Europe. The antique geography was a prelude to Munster's major work, the Cosmographia, which was published in nearly 30 editions in six languages between 1544 and 1578 and then was revised and reissued by Sebastian Petri from 1588 to 1628. The Cosmographia was a geographical as well as historical and ethnographic description of the world. It contained the maps from the Geographia plus additional regional maps and city views with nearly 500 illustrations which made it one of the most popular pictorial encyclopedias of the sixteen century.

Interesting woodblock map with north oriented to the bottom of the map. The map depicts the region from Germany and The Netherlands through Austria and the Burgundy region of France. There are quite a few place names, including Praga, for Prague in Bohemia, shown in a circle of trees. In the North Sea, the bow of a ship appears, powered by oarsmen. Latin text on verso.

References: Mickwitz & Miekkavaara #156-6.

Condition: A

A dark impression with attractive color and a few tiny worm holes. A small hole along the centerfold in the top blank margin has been professionally repaired. Light marginal soiling.

Estimate: $240 - $300

Sold for: $130

Closed on 5/4/2016