Catalog Archive
Auction 185, Lot 44

"[Untitled - Serpens]", Bayer, Johann

Subject: Celestial

Period: 1624 (circa)

Publication: Uranometria Omnium Asterismorum

Color: Black & White

15 x 11.1 inches
38.1 x 28.2 cm
New! Download High Resolution Image
(or just click on image to launch the Zoom viewer)

This very attractive, early constellation map depicts the constellation of Serpens. The plate was included in Bayer’s Uranometria Omnium Asterismorun in 1603, which is considered to be the first engraved star atlas with 51 constellations depicted. This example is from a later edition with no text on verso. Bayer's work was generally not published in color. The stars are identified by letters; Greek for the brightest, Roman for the fainter, with the order of the alphabets corresponding to decreasing brightness of the stars. Although a similar scheme had been introduced by Piccolomini (1540), it was Bayer's scheme that became universally accepted. Bayer based his constellation figures on the work of Jacobo de Gheyn and included stars from Ptolemy as well as the recent observations of Tycho Brahe and Keyser.

References: Kanas, pp. 155-56, 356; Warner, pp. 18-19.

Condition: B+

Light soiling and foxing on a sheet with a heart watermark. A chip in the top left corner has been professionally replaced with old paper, not affecting the image.

Estimate: $450 - $550

Sold for: $325

Closed on 11/17/2021