London, South Kensington
19 October 2016
CLAUDIUS PTOLEMAEUS (C.100-C.170)
Geografia cioè Descrittione universale della terra. Venice: G. Battista and G. Galignani, 1598-1597.
First edition in Italian of Magini's Ptolemy, with 64 finely engraved maps.
2 parts in one volume, 2° (285 x 198mm). Engraved double-hemisphere world map and 63 engraved half-page maps. (e1 with marginal flaw touching text, K4v with neat marginal repair touching text.) Contemporary calf, gilt spine, speckled edges (rebacked preserving original spine, new pastedowns, lower cover with patches repaired, corners repaired, joints starting to crack). Provenance: Johann, King of Saxony (1801-1873; crowned monogram stamp on titles) — Saxon State and University Library, Dresden (cancelled stamp on verso of first title).
Titles with engraved printers' devices [cf. Vaccaro p. 277, fig. 353]. Woodcut diagrams in the text, woodcut initials, head- and tail-pieces. Retaining blank dd4. The 64 finely-engraved maps – comprising 27 maps of the ancient world and 36 modern maps, together with the world map by Girolamo Porro after Rumold Mercator – were first used in the Latin first edition of Magini's recension in 1596. The double-hemisphere world map Orbis Terrae Compendiosa Descriptio is a reduction of Rumold Mercator's world map, and is described by Shirley as 'an exceptionally fine engraving in its own right' (The Mapping of the World, p. XXIX). Adams M-118; Nordenskiöld 2, 226; Phillips Atlases 405; Sabin 66506; Shirley 194 (world map).
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