Auction 162, Lot 51

Fascinating Cross-Section of the Earth

"Systema Ideale quo Exprimitur, Aquarum per Canales Hydragogos Subterraneos ex Mari et in Montium Hydrophylacia Protrusio, Aquarumq. Subterrestrium per Pyragogos Canales Concoctus", Kircher, Athanasius

Subject: Cartographic Miscellany, Earth

Period: 1665 (circa)

Publication: D'Onder-Aardse Weereld

Color: Hand Color

Size:
16.1 x 13 inches
40.9 x 33 cm

The Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher was one of the first compilers of semi-scientific knowledge about the physical features of the world. This unusual copper engraving shows a cross-section of the earth's interior with its magma core and underground water sources. The surface of the earth is shown with mountain ranges, erupting volcanoes, and ships sailing in the oceans. Clouds and four wind-heads surround the sphere. A decorative title cartouche held aloft by putti completes the fanciful composition. This is from a Dutch edition of Kircher's masterpiece, an immense and amazing work covering all aspects of anything that dwelled or occurred within the earth's interior - from dragons, to fossils, to mountain springs, earthquakes, and volcanoes.

References: Kanas #7.2 and figure 7.3.

Condition: A

An excellent impression on watermarked paper with professional repairs to a couple of minor tears and worm holes confined to the blank margins. The top margin has been professionally extended a bit to accommodate framing.

Estimate: $1,600 - $1,900

Sold for: $1,200

Closed on 4/26/2017

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