Catalog Archive
Auction 166, Lot 43

The Southern Sky Superimposed on a Terrestrial Map of the Americas

"Haemisphaerium Stellatum Australe, Aequali Sphaerarum Proportione", Cellarius, Andreas

Subject: Celestial

Period: 1661 (circa)

Publication: Harmonia Macroscosmica siu Atlas Universalis et Novus…

Color: Hand Color

20.2 x 17.1 inches
51.3 x 43.4 cm
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The Dutch-German mathematician and cosmographer Andreas Cellarius is best known for his spectacular celestial atlas, the Harmonia Macrocosmica. His atlas contained a description of ancient and contemporary astronomy including the theories of Ptolemy, Copernicus, and Tycho Brahe. The atlas was illustrated with twenty-nine engraved plates that are among the most beautiful celestial charts ever made. The charts include illustrations of the heavens and diagrams of the orbits of the Sun, Moon, and planets according to the different cosmological theories. They were richly adorned with elaborate cartouches and baroque elements such as putti in clouds, shells, garlands, as well as portraits of famous astronomers and astronomical instruments. The Harmonia Macrocosmica was published in 1660, and reissued in 1661 by the Amsterdam publisher Johannes Jansson as a supplement to his Atlas Novus. The plates were reissued again in 1708 by the Amsterdam publishers Gerard Valk and Petrus Schenk.

This is one of the finest celestial charts from the golden age of Dutch cartography. The map presents the constellations of the southern sky superimposed on a terrestrial map of the Americas; thus giving the effect that the stellar system is viewed from space. The terrestrial map shows North America as far as the island of California and Chesapeake Bay. The constellations are presented in classical mythological form and include Ptolemaic constellations as well as those of Tycho Brahe, Plancius and Keyzer. Richly engraved in the baroque style with the title emblazoned across two drapes that are supported by putti and angels. The sphere is supported by Titans with a group of astronomers in the background. This is the second state with plate number 29 engraved at bottom right.

References: Burden #347; Kanas #7.1.2; McLaughlin #C-1; Van der Krogt (Vol. I) #HM29:1.

Condition: B

Very nice impression and color with professional repairs to several long separations along the centerfold and along a horizontal crease that has been pressed flat. There are additional professional repairs to some edge tears that enter 1" - 2.5" into the image, and to a few small holes with a minor amount of image replaced in facsimile. A chip in the left blank margin has been replaced with old paper, with a portion of the neatline replaced in facsimile.

Estimate: $2,400 - $3,000

Sold for: $1,900

Closed on 2/14/2018