• The Wolfgang A. Herz Library:  auction at Christies

    Sale 2158

    The Wolfgang A. Herz Library: Important Voyages and Travels

    9 December 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 30

    MÜNSTER, Sebastian (1489-1552). Cosmographey, das ist, Beschreibung aller Länder, Herrschafften und fürnemesten Stetten des gantzen Erdbodens. Basel: Sebastian Henricpetri, 1598.

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    MÜNSTER, Sebastian (1489-1552). Cosmographey, das ist, Beschreibung aller Länder, Herrschafften und fürnemesten Stetten des gantzen Erdbodens. Basel: Sebastian Henricpetri, 1598.

    2o (354 x 226 mm). Title printed in red and black with woodcut portrait of the author, 26 double-page woodcut maps including two world maps (Shirley 162 and 163), 67 double-page town plans and views, many within ornamental woodcut borders, 2 folding panoramas of Heidelberg and Vienna, the latter dated 1548, approximately 1250 woodcuts in the text (including repeats), woodcut head-pieces and printer's device at end, large gothic initials. (Some browning and spotting as usual, title-leaf creased, many of the double-page maps with short closed splits along guards, folding Heidelberg view a bit creased and torn at forecorner slightly affecting page number, folding Vienna view slightly dampstained and with neat reinforcements around edges, stain to XXX1v affecting woodcut.) Contemporary German blind-stamped pigskin over wooden boards, sides panelled with ornamental and figurative rolls, the latter including a heads-in-medallion roll and an allegorical roll of faith, hope, charity and fortune, central panel stamps of Justicia on the upper cover and Fortuna on the lower cover, spine with five double raised bands, the compartments blank, title lettered in ink in upper compartment, two pairs of chased brass clasps and catches, one clasp replaced at an early date, the original clasp stamped "HP" (endpapers renewed, minor wear and staining). Provenance: Augsburg, Fürstlich Fugger'sche Bibliothek (inkstamp on title); early marginal note on CCCr; anonymous owner (Christie's New York, 9 June 1999, lot 46).

    Second edition with the renewed stock of woodcut maps. In the 1580s Sebastian Henricpetri, the son of Münster's son-in-law and first printer, Heinrich Petri, was obliged to invest in commissioning a new series of woodblocks of the maps and views illustrating Münster's ever-popular survey and chronicle of the world. These appeared in the 1588 and succeeding editions. Although most differ little from their models, those showing the New World had to be drastically revised: the modern world map and the map of the Americas (Burden 58), both copied after Ortelius' 1570 maps by an unknown engraver, give a far more accurate though still not up-do-date depiction of the Americas than the primitive maps used in the 1544-1578 editions. Alden & Landis 598/73; Burmeister 83; Sabin 51395.


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