Auction 170, Lot 46

"Ptolemaei Typus", Ptolemy/Magini

Subject: Ancient World

Period: 1597 (circa)

Publication: Geographicae Universae…

Color: Hand Color

6.9 x 5.3 inches
17.5 x 13.5 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 handsome Ptolemaic map follows the classical format and was published in an Italian issue of Magini's quarto edition of Ptolemy. The Indian Ocean is landlocked with a continuous coastline joining Africa to South East Asia. Toprobana, present day Sri Lanka, is a very large island in the Indian Ocean and the Indian sub-continent is completely missing, although the Ganges river is shown. The Mediterranean is well depicted, but greatly exaggerated in length. In Africa, the Nile is shown originating in mountains below the Equator. Finely engraved by Girolamo Porro in the Italian style with a stippled sea. Published by Giovanni and Giorgio Galignani. The map is on a full sheet (7.7 x 11.2") of Italian text.

References: Shirley #193.

Condition: A

A nice impression with one small dampstain along the top sheet edge.

Estimate: $375 - $450

Sold for: $250

Closed on 11/14/2018