Catalog Archive
Auction 99, Lot 65

"Pisces", Thomas, Corbinianus

Subject: Celestial

Period: 1730-31 (published)

Publication: Mercurii philosophici firmamentum firmianum

Color: Hand Color

5.3 x 5.2 inches
13.5 x 13.2 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.

Fine little chart of the constellation Pisces, or the Two Fishes, which contains that point in the sky occupied by the Sun during Vernal Equinox. According to Greek myth, Aphrodite and her son Eros were walking along a riverbank when they sensed the presence of the monstrous god Typhon. They plunged into the river where they took the form of fishes and escaped.

References: Warner p. 251.

Condition: A

Estimate: $275 - $325

Sold for: $300

Closed on 6/12/2002