17 June 2008
BODE, Johann Elert. Uranographia, sive astrorum descriptio. Berlin: by the author, 1801.
2o (630 x 480 mm). Double-paged engraved title, 3pp letterpress introduction, one page index of maps with star list, 20 double-page engraved star-maps mounted on guards, decorated with celestial figures, the stars defined by magnitude. (A few small tears and minor pencil notes to margins, some light spotting). Contemporary calf (rebacked, old spine laid down, some light wear to covers).
FIRST EDITION. Bode played an important role in the development of astronomy in Germany, becoming Royal Astronomer and a member of the Berlin Academy. This celestial atlas provided a benchmark in its field, a true successor to the great celestial atlases of Bayer, Hevelius and Flamstead. The Uranographia was "the most extensive and last great atlas of its kind" (Warner). The 20 star-maps include the two general sheets of each hemisphere, the 18 other maps making up a detailed wallmap of the celestial world. Bode's careful attention as an astronomer to star magnitudes and the softer engraving of the celestial figures make his work not only a decorative record of the cosmos, but also an important scientific record of a dedicated astronomer. Warner 7.
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