Catalog Archive
Auction 183, Lot 471

"Tabu. VII Asiae", Ptolemy/Fries

Subject: Central Asia

Period: 1525 (circa)

Publication: Claudii Ptolemaei Geographicae...

Color: Black & White

18.1 x 12.5 inches
46 x 31.8 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 is a slightly reduced version of Waldseemuller's Ptolemaic map set in a trapezoidal frame. It illustrates the Ptolemaic concept of central Asia from Scithia Intra Imaum to the Caspian Sea and east to Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Latin text on verso with an accompanying small bird's-eye city view.

References: Mickwitz & Miekkavaara #208-21.

Condition: B+

On watermarked paper with a professionally repaired 1.5" centerfold separation at bottom. There are two small stains adjacent to the centerfold and minor foxing along the sheet edges.

Estimate: $475 - $600

Sold for: $350

Closed on 6/9/2021