Auction 160, Lot 560

"Tabula Nova Helvetiae", Ptolemy/Fries

Subject: Switzerland

Period: 1541 (published)

Publication: Claudii Ptolemaei Alexandrini Geographicae…

Color: Hand Color

16.5 x 12.1 inches
41.9 x 30.7 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 fine woodcut map is one of the earliest modern maps of Switzerland. It was reduced from Waldseemuller's 1513 map from the first modern atlas based on contemporary knowledge. The map is oriented with north at the bottom of the sheet.

References: Mickwitz & Miekkavaara #211-45.

Condition: A

Excellent impression on paper with a bunch of grapes watermark and professional repairs to a few very small worm holes along the centerfold.

Estimate: $400 - $500

Sold for: $300

Closed on 11/16/2016