Catalog Archive
Auction 191, Lot 559

"Wyssenburgum Civitas Imperialis cum Circumiacente Terra, ad Uiuum Expressa", Munster, Sebastian

Subject: Weissenburg, Germany

Period: 1550 (circa)

Publication: Cosmographiae Universalis

Color: Black & White

14.8 x 10.4 inches
37.6 x 26.4 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.

This bird's-eye plan of Weissenburg and its surroundings names nearby villages in the distance. In the foreground are fields and roads with people going about their daily chores. There is even a gallows at bottom left. Coat of arms is held aloft by two putti. Latin text on verso.

References: Shirley (BL Atlases) T.MUN-1c #57.

Condition: A

There are a few tiny separations along the centerfold, including just one in the map image at top that has been repaired on verso with archival materials. A few tiny chips are confined to the blank margins.

Estimate: $150 - $180

Sold for: $75

Closed on 2/8/2023