London, South Kensington
22 April 2010
PTOLEMAEUS, Claudius (c.100-c.178). Geographicae enarrationis libri octo. Vienna and Lyons: Gaspar Trechsel for Hugues de La Porte, 1541. 2° (380 x 264mm). Letterpress title with large woodcut printer's device, 49 double-page maps and one single-page map, text with 4 large woodcut diagrams and 2 full-page woodcuts of a diagram and armillary sphere showing the projection of the winds by Albrecht Dürer (l4 verso, this trimmed at fore-edge just into image), woodcut initials. (Map 48 bound upside down and with old paper repair, browning and light staining throughout, with a couple of maps slightly more heavily affected, title and a2 slightly chipped at lower corner, numeral X erased from imprint on title). Modern binding of old vellum manuscript leaves preserving contemporary vellum backstrip (lower cover lightly soiled, head and tail of backstrip worn).
The second edition of Ptolemy edited by Servetus. 27 maps depict the ancient world and 22 of the modern world, with one map of Lotharingia. They were printed from the unaltered blocks used in Lorenz Fries's edition printed by Grüninger in 1522. Several of the maps in this edition, including that relating to the Holy Land, are printed without their descriptive text on the versos, indicative of the effect of Calvinism, which meant that many copies of the earlier editions were burnt on Calvin's orders. Brunet IV, 955; cf. Mortimer, Harvard French, 450; Phillips Atlases 366; Sabin 66485.
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