Auction 161, Lot 625

"[Title on Verso] Europae Tabula Septima Continet Sardiniam & Siciliam Insulas", Ptolemy/Fries

Subject: Sicily & Sardinia

Period: 1541 (published)

Publication: Claudii Ptolemaei Alexandrini Geographicae…

Color: Hand Color

17.2 x 10.2 inches
43.7 x 25.9 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 scarce Ptolemaic map portrays Sardinia and Sicily, the two largest islands in the Mediterranean Sea. It shows mountains, rivers, and cities as well as smaller surrounding islands and a flaming Mt. Etna. Although Sicily is actually located to the southeast of Sardinia, the islands are here presented as parallel to one another. Title is on the verso along with Latin text.

References: Mickwitz & Miekkavaara #211-7.

Condition: A

A nice impression on a clean bright sheet of paper with a bunch of grapes watermark and a few old manuscript notations that do not distract. There are minor professional repairs along the centerfold, primarily confined to the blank margins.

Estimate: $800 - $950

Sold for: $500

Closed on 2/8/2017