Catalog Archive
Auction 98, Lot 50

"Lyra", Thomas, Corbinianus

Subject: Celestial

Period: 1730-31 (published)

Publication: Mercurii philosophici firmamentum firmianum

Color: Hand Color

5 x 4.5 inches
12.7 x 11.4 cm

Little is known about Corbinianus Thomas, a Benedictine monk at Salzburg, but his Firmamentum is one of the unsung treasures of celestial cartography. It contained 54 small charts of individual constellations. Thomas used an interesting nomenclature system: Bayer Greek letter, Roman numeral for magnitude, and Arabic numeral for reference to a star catalog. This system originated on the large globes of Coronelli, as did many of Thomas's figures.

Beautifully engraved miniature map of the constellation Lrya in its allegorical form as Vega (the swooping vulture) carrying a harp.

References: Warner, p. 251.

Condition: B

Damp stains in lower margin, just barely entering image.

Estimate: $200 - $240

Sold for: $190

Closed on 3/6/2002