Catalog Archive
Auction 189, Lot 556

"Constantinopolitanae Urbis Effigies, quam Hodie sub Turcae Inhabitatione Habet", Munster, Sebastian

Subject: Istanbul, Turkey

Period: 1550 (published)

Publication: Cosmographiae universalis

Color: Hand Color

15 x 8 inches
38.1 x 20.3 cm
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Sebastian Munster (1489 - 1552) was one of the three most renowned cartographers of the sixteenth century, along with Mercator and Ortelius. Munster's Geographia and Cosmographia Universalis were two of the most widely read and influential books of the period. His editions of Ptolemy's Geographia, published between 1540 and 1552, were illustrated with 48 woodcut maps, the standard 27 Ptolemaic maps supplemented by 21 new maps. These new maps included a separate map of each of the known continents and marked the development of regional cartography in Central Europe. The antique geography was a prelude to Munster's major work, the Cosmographia, which was published in nearly 30 editions in six languages between 1544 and 1578 and then was revised and reissued by Sebastian Petri from 1588 to 1628. The Cosmographia was a geographical as well as historical and ethnographic description of the world. It contained the maps from the Geographia plus additional regional maps and city views with nearly 500 illustrations which made it one of the most popular pictorial encyclopedias of the sixteen century.

Detailed bird's-eye view of the Golden Horn of Constantinople. The city plan depicts the markets, homes, palaces and churches, including the famous Hagia Sophia, shown prior to the addition of the last two minarets in the late 16th century. On the Bosphorus Strait are dozens of large ships sailing out to sea. This is a very appealing medieval view with German text below and on verso.

References: Shirley (BL Altases) T.MUN-1c #114.

Condition: A

A nice impression on a bright sheet with archival repairs to a chip at top center and some minor separations along the centerfold. Professionally remargined at the sides with a bit of the neatline replaced in facsimile.

Estimate: $350 - $425

Sold for: $300

Closed on 9/14/2022