Catalog Archive
Auction 99, Lot 66

"Cepheus", Thomas, Corbinianus

Subject: Celestial

Period: 1730-31 (published)

Publication: Mercurii philosophici firmamentum firmianum

Color: Hand Color

5.4 x 5.5 inches
13.7 x 14 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 Cepheus, the King of Ethiopia. Cepheus is among the oldest constellations in the northern sky and played an important part in Greek mythology. The beautiful Cassiopeia was his Queen and Andromeda was his daughter.

References: Warner p. 251.

Condition: B

Minor damp stain entering chart at upper left. Close, but adequate, margin at bottom (as issued).

Estimate: $200 - $240

Sold for: $275

Closed on 6/12/2002