Catalog Archive
Auction 184, Lot 711

"[Lot of 2] Tabula Africae III [and] Marmarica Nuova Tavola", Ptolemy/Ruscelli

Subject: Northern Africa

Period: 1561 (circa)

Publication: La Geografia di Claudio Tolomeo Alessandrino…

Color: Black & White

9.8 x 6.9 inches
24.9 x 17.5 cm
New! Download High Resolution Image
(or just click on image to launch the Zoom viewer)

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).

A. Tabula Africae III. Finely engraved Ptolemaic map of eastern Libya and Egypt with numerous ancient place names. Depicts the course of the Nile River beyond Aswan in southern Egypt. The interior is filled with mountains as well as some spurious lakes and rivers. Drawn on a trapezoidal projection with a stippled sea. Italian text on verso, published in 1561 or 1564.

B. Marmarica Nuova Tavola. This great Ptolemaic map of eastern Libya and Egypt features a number of ancient place names, particularly along the course of the Nile. The map extends east to the Red Sea and shows spurious lakes and rivers in northern Africa. Italian text on verso, published in 1561 or 1564.

References: Mickwitz & Miekkavaara (Nordenskiold) #216-35 & 36.

Condition: B+

There is light toning along the centerfolds and minor foxing mostly in the margins. Remnants of hinge tape along the top sheet edges.

Estimate: $180 - $210

Sold for: $130

Closed on 9/15/2021