Catalog Archive
Auction 183, Lot 291

"Il Cuscho Citta Principale della Provincia el Peru", Munster, Sebastian

Subject: Cusco, Peru

Period: 1614 (published)

Publication: Cosmographie, das ist Beschreibung aller Länder

Color: Black & White

14.7 x 10.6 inches
37.3 x 26.9 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 very early view was copied from Giovanni Battista Ramusio’s important view (1556) of the center of Incan civilization in Peru. The temple complex is shown at left and a procession bearing the statue of Atahualpa (last Inca king) is shown in the plaza. Several figures are depicted on the hillside and roads leading into the city. Title (in Italian) in ribbon banner with German title in top margin and German text on verso.


Condition: B+

Light soiling with a professionally repaired worm hole along the centerfold near the bottom of the image. There are two additional unrepaired worm holes confined to the blank margins. This example has wider margins than most examples we've seen.

Estimate: $240 - $300

Sold for: $120

Closed on 6/9/2021