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Ptolemy (c.100-c.170)
Ptolemy (c.100-c.170)
Ptolemy (c.100-c.170)
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Ptolemy (c.100-c.170)

LIBER GEOGRAPHIAE 1511

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Ptolemy (c.100-c.170)
Liber Geographiae 1511
PTOLEMAEUS, Claudius (c.100-c.170). Liber Geographiae cum tabulis et universali figura. Edited by Bernardus Sylvanus. Venice: J. Pentius de Leucho, 20 March 1511.

First Venetian edition of Ptolemy's Geographia, the earliest example of two-colour printing in cartography, and with the cordiform map of the 'modern' world showing America. Based on the Latin translation of Jacobus Angelus, Bernardus Sylvanus of Basel edited the text and amended Ptolemy's maps to take account of modern discoveries. The cordiform world map is the first in this projection, the second world map in an edition of Ptolemy to show America, and the first map to show Japan. The major regional names are printed in red in upper case to differentiate them from town names and less important localities, which are printed in black in lower case; the cordiform world map also includes a few regional designations in red. All the place names are printed in type that was apparently set into the woodblocks, possibly as slugs produced through a method of stereotype printing (see D. Woodward, introduction to the facsimile edition of Sylvanus' world map [Chicago, 1983]). The Venetian binding is strictly contemporary and uses a tool very similar (but not identical) to the arabesque tool on a binding attributed to Venice by Tammaro de Marinis on an undated 16th-century Florentine manuscript (De Marinis II:2261, pl. 388). Adams P-2218; Alden and Landis 511/8; Harrisse 68; Nordenskiold II 204; Phillips Atlases 358; Sabin 7747; Shirley Mapping of the World 31, 32.

Folio (418 x 282mm). Title printed in red, text in two columns printed in red and black, initial spaces with guide-letter, 28 double-page woodcut maps printed in red and black on the last 30 leaves, i.e., all but the last 2 leaves, containing Sylvanus' cordiform 'modern' world map, printed on both rectos and versos, 4 woodcut diagrams in text, the last on H6r nearly full-page (text bifolium +2.3, cordiform world map and map bifolium 3/1.4 supplied, 3/1.4 reinforced at gutter and other expert repairs and cleaning throughout, including the title with repairs at upper corner, cordiform world map expertly repaired along gutter and with with tiny losses from worming affecting one letter and a very small piece of coastline to Madagascar, a few other areas of worming expertly filled and repaired, cropping to captions of Ptolemaic world map and of Decima Asia map, to clouds in left-hand and lower margins of modern world map, and to degree borders of British Isles map, some internal tearing to map leaf 2/4, affecting the toe of Italy but neatly repaired, a few maps with edges frayed, some into image, some light dampstaining and spotting). Contemporary Italian, probably Venetian, blindstamped dark brown goatskin over flexible pasteboard, sides panelled with outer border and large central lozenge of repeated grapevine tool, the borders outlined by quintuple blind fillets, inner panel divided into compartments by blind fillets, compartments and central lozenge decorated with single repeated leafy arabesque tool, flat spine with 3 flat bands, compartments diapered, evidence of 4 pairs of ties (new endleaves, knife-scoring on upper cover, repairs at spine ends and corners, some staining, worming and small losses). Provenance: early marginalia on H6r – a few later Italian notes at tops of maps.
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