Catalog Archive
Auction 92, Lot 53

"Topograhia Insulae Huenae celebri porthmo Regni Daniae, quem Vulgo Oersunt uocant", Braun & Hogenberg

Subject: Astronomy

Period: 1586 (dated)

Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum

Color: Hand Color

18.8 x 13.3 inches
47.8 x 33.8 cm
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Bird's eye view of the island of Hven, located east of Copenhagen (now part of Sweden, but a Danish possession at the time). This is the location of Tycho Brahe's famous Uraniborg Observatory, the world's first observatory. Tycho Brahe was a Danish astronomer who lived between 1546-1601. For over twenty years, he made very accurate observations of the night sky, all without the aid of a telescope, which had not yet been invented. Throughout his career Tycho proceeded to build astronomical measuring instruments of unprecedented accuracy. Tycho was convinced of the falsity of the Ptolemaic/Aristotelian planetary model. Objecting to the motion of the Earth on physical and philosophical grounds, and unable to detect the annual parallax of the fixed stars predicted by the Copernican model, he rejected the latter as well, and as a compromise proposed the Tychonian Planetary Model, in which the Earth is at the center of the universe, the Sun orbits the Earth, but all other planets orbit the Sun. The chart shows the observatory at the center of the island surrounded by farm land. Two insets depict an elevation and floor plan, and the observatory gardens. At bottom are two cartouches, one surmounted by scientific instruments.


Condition: A

Fine original color. Light mat burn in margins with chipped corners and a couple of archival tape repairs, none affecting the map.

Estimate: $900 - $1,000

Sold for: $1,100

Closed on 9/13/2000