Catalog Archive
Auction 182, Lot 717

"Tabula Aphricae II", Ptolemy/Ruscelli

Subject: Northern Africa

Period: 1598 (published)

Publication: Geografia di Claudio Tolomeo Alessandrino...

Color: Black & White

10 x 7 inches
25.4 x 17.8 cm
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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 Ptolemaic map of northern Africa covers portions of Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya and extends to include the islands of Sicily and Sardinia. The map identifies rivers and mountain ranges in the vicinity, and is decorated by a sea monster, sailing ship, and a stippled sea. Italian text on verso. From the fourth edition of Girolamo Ruscelli's translation of Claudius Ptolemy's Geographia, enlarged and edited by Gioseppe Rosaccio and printed by the heirs of Melchior Sessa.

References: Mickwitz & Miekkavaara #227-12.

Condition: A

A dark impression on a clean sheet with a hint of toning along the centerfold.

Estimate: $120 - $150


Closed on 4/28/2021