14 November 2007
PTOLEMAEUS, Claudius (c.100-c.178). Geographicae enarrationis libri octo. Translated by Wilibald Pirckheimer, with the annotations of Johannes Regiomontanus. Strassburg: Johannes Grüninger and Johannes Koberger, 1525.
2° (395 x 260mm). Title within woodcut architectural border, the descriptive Latin text for the geography and the maps set within woodcut borders, decorative initials, 50 woodcut maps, all but one double-page. (Occasional light scattered spotting, faint dampstain, a few small marginal repairs.) Contemporary vellum over wooden boards, upper side panelled in blind, lower side with all-over blind rolls, brass catches and clasps, spine titled in manuscript, compartment at the foot painted red (a few old repairs); buckram clamshell case. Provenance: Premonstratensian Abbey of Wilten, near Innsbruck (title inscription) -- illegible stamp in title margin.
The first edition translated by the humanist Wilibald Pirckheimer, and with annotations by Regiomontanus criticizing the 15th-century translation of Jacobus Angelus of Scarpia. This fourth Strassburg edition, the second by Grüninger, reuses the maps of his 1522 edition, except for the fifth map of Asia, map 19, which was recut to conform to the format of the others. It includes the world map Orbis typus universalis by Laurentius Fries, based on a model by Waldseemüller -- one of the first maps in a Ptolemy edition to include the name America. The account of Christopher Columbus's discovery is given in the text for map 28. It has been suggested that the borders surrounding the explanatory text of these maps was the work of Hans Holbein. Adams P-2221; Nordenskiold Collection 208; Phillips Atlases 362; Sabin 66482.
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