Catalog Archive

Auction 164, Lot 554

"La Description de Boheme Selon ses Plus Nobles Citez, Villes & Bourgades", Munster, Sebastian

Subject: Czech Republic

Period: 1552 (published)

Publication: La Cosmographie Universelle…

Color: Hand Color

14.1 x 10.1 inches
35.8 x 25.7 cm
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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.

This woodcut map of Bohemia is oriented with north to the bottom. Prague is shown near the center of the map and the road to Vienna is depicted at top left. The exaggerated mountains and forests are typical of the early woodblock maps. This is an early map to show the encroachment of the Ottoman Empire into Europe. The map legend at bottom right, which in some examples identifies the symbols used to distinguish the cities and towns as either controlled by the Bohemian monarchy or the Turks and also whether it is Hussite or Catholic, is left blank in this example. Alternate French title on verso.

References: Shirley (BL Atlases) T.MUN-1d #9.

Condition: B+

Light toning and soiling that is less pronounced in the image.

Estimate: $200 - $230

Sold for: $150

Closed on 9/13/2017