Catalog Archive
Auction 195, Lot 754


"Tabula Aphricae I", Ptolemy/Ruscelli

Subject: Northwestern Africa

Period: 1561 (published)

Publication: La Geografia di Claudio Tolomeo Alessandrino...

Color: Black & White

9.8 x 7.1 inches
24.9 x 18 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).

This Ptolemaic map, presented on a trapezoidal projection, depicts the northern part of Africa and the southern tip of Spain. It shows large rivers, convoluted mountain ranges, and ancient cities. The Columna Herculis is located in Spain. The sea is stippled. Italian text on verso.

References: Mickwitz & Miekkavaara #216-31; Shirley (BL Atlases) T.PTOL-10a.

Condition: B+

On watermarked paper with light toning along the centerfold and light foxing that is mostly confined to the blank margins. There are a couple tiny wormholes in the bottom blank margin and remnants of hinge tape along the sheet's top edge.

Estimate: $110 - $140


Closed on 11/15/2023