Catalog Archive
Auction 168, Lot 54

Fascinating Cross-Section of the Earth's Interior

"Systema Ideale Pyrophylaciorum Subterraneorum, Quorum Montes Vulcanii, Veluti Spiracula Quaedam Existant", Kircher, Athanasius

Subject: Cartographic Miscellany - Earth

Period: 1682 (circa)

Publication: D'Onder-Aardse Weereld

Color: Hand Color

16.2 x 13.1 inches
41.1 x 33.3 cm

This unusual copper engraving shows a cross-section of the earth's interior with its magma core. The surface of the earth is shown with erupting volcanoes and ships sailing in the oceans. Clouds and four wind-heads surround the sphere. A decorative title cartouche completes the fanciful composition with a text panel below. The Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher was one of the first compilers of semi-scientific knowledge about the physical features of the world. 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.


Condition: A

A nice impression on watermarked paper with minor marginal soiling. The top margin has been professionally extended to accommodate framing.

Estimate: $1,600 - $1,900

Sold for: $1,600

Closed on 6/6/2018