Catalog Archive
Auction 189, Lot 408

Blaeu's Engravings of Tycho Brahe's Observatory

"[Lot of 2] Orthographia Praecipuae Domus Arcis Uraniburgi in Insula Prthmi Danici, Venusia... [and] Ichnographia Praecipuae Domus Arcis Uraniburgi...", Blaeu, Johannes

Subject: Hven, Sweden, Astronomy

Period: 1662 (published)

Publication: Grooten Atlas

Color: Hand Color

19.5 x 16.3 inches
49.5 x 41.4 cm
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Pair of fine engravings of Tycho Brahe's famous observatory, Uraniborg, on the Swedish island of Hven, then under Danish rule. First is a superb elevation of the elaborate castle that initially incorporated both Brahe's residence and the observatory. The second is a floor plan with a key on the verso. Uraniborg became an early research institute, which attracted students from throughout Europe, one of whom was Johannes Blaeu. Sizes vary slightly.

Before the invention of the telescope, Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) made accurate and comprehensive observations of the night sky. He pioneered and developed several instruments throughout his career in order to make the most precise measurements possible. Tycho was unconvinced both by the physics of the Copernicus' heliocentric model of the solar system and the Ptolemaic/Aristotelian idea that the planets were placed within nested spheres. His compromise was the Tychonian Planetary Model, which stated that the Earth is at the center of the universe, the Sun orbits the Earth, but all other planets orbit the Sun.

References: Van der Krogt (Vol. II) #2:2 & #3:2.

Condition: B+

Both sheets feature sharp impressions, contemporary color, and the watermark of Atlas. There is light soiling, and the second sheet has a Bolton Public Library stamp on verso.

Estimate: $950 - $1,200

Sold for: $700

Closed on 9/14/2022