Catalog Archive
Auction 189, Lot 498

"[Title on Verso] Tabula VIII Europae", Ptolemy/Fries

Subject: Eastern Europe

Period: 1525 (published)

Publication: Claudii Ptolemaei Geographicae...

Color: Black & White

17.5 x 11.5 inches
44.5 x 29.2 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).

A superb Ptolemaic map of Eastern Europe, known in ancient times as Sarmatia, and encompassing the region between the Baltic and Black Seas and between the Vistua and Volga Rivers. The map is typically Ptolemaic - drawn on a revised conical projection and set in a trapezoidal frame. Large rope-like mountains fill the map and the Black Sea is elongated to the north. The title appears on verso along with Latin text and additional woodblock engravings.

References: Mickwitz & Miekkavaara #208-8.

Condition: A

A nice impression on a bright sheet with a anchor watermark, marginal soiling, and two small holes along the centerfold confined to the blank margins.

Estimate: $900 - $1,100


Closed on 9/14/2022