PTOLEMAEUS, Claudius (2nd century). Cosmographia. Translated from Greek into Latin by Jacobus Angelus (fl. early 15th century). Edited by Nicolaus Germanus (c.1420-c.1490). Johann Reger (d. after 1499). Registrum, De locis ac mirabilibus mundi. Ulm: Johann Reger for Justus de Albano, 21 July 1486.
Royal 2° (419 x 293 mm). Collation: A B8 C10 D E8 (register); a10 b-i8 (Ptolemaeus); 64 leaves (maps on 32 sheets of two leaves each, not forming part of a quires); a-c8 (De locis). 204 leaves. 44 lines and head-lines, double column. Type: 1:140R. 32 WOODCUT MAPS (31 double-page and one full-page) cut by Johannes of Armsheim after Nicolaus Germanus FINELY COLORED BY A CONTEMPORARY SOUTH-GERMAN ARTIST, all but five (world map, modern maps of Spain, France, Scandinavia, and the Holy Land) with letterpress text on rectos, 4th map of Africa with text on recto and verso; 4 woodcut text diagrams, 13- and 8-line woodcut historiated initials (one showing Donnus Nicolaus presenting his book to Pope Paul II, the other of Ptolemy) opening prologue and text, woodcut Maiblumen initials colored in red, green and ochre, 18 maps retain contemporary manuscript quiring. (Short tears to a few leaves, some marginal staining at beginning and end, 5 maps trimmed closely touching printed marginalia or printed borders, marginal repairs and tiny wormhole to world map, minor worming to inner margin of i1-8, map of India with small hole to image at inner margin, text leaves f7 and a1 torn and repaired.) CONTEMPORARY SOUTH GERMAN BLIND-STAMPED CALF OVER WOODEN BOARDS, hand-tools include Virgin and Child, pomegranates and flowers, roll-tools with griffin and floral designs, two brass clasps (spine ends and some corners restored, some worming, leather of clasps renewed). Provenance: a few early manuscript notes of ownership; Francesco Novacco (sale Sotheby’s London, 24 June 1968, lot 115); with Charles W. Traylen, Guildford, Surrey; Lord Wardington (bookplate, his sale Sotheby’s London, 10 October 2006, lot 396).
A SPLENDID COLORED COPY OF THE SECOND ULM EDITION. THE ULM PTOLEMY WAS THE FIRST ATLAS PRINTED OUTSIDE ITALY, AND THE FIRST ATLAS ILLUSTRATED WITH WOODCUT MAPS. It is the second printed edition to contain the full complement of 32 maps, and its world map, extended to the northwest, is the first printed cartographical representation of Greenland, Iceland and the north Atlantic. Its maps are the reworking of the Ptolemaic corpus by Nicolaus Germanus, a German cartographer whose reworkings survive in three recensions. The 1482 Ulm Ptolemy reproduces the third, revised recension, and thus represents Nicolaus's most mature work (Campbell, Earliest Printed Maps, p.124). Johannes of Armsheim cut the woodblocks for the maps and signed his name at the top of the world map, making it “the earliest datable printed map to bear a signature” (Campbell, p.137).
The second Ulm edition of Ptolemy's Cosmographia, translated into Latin by Jacobus Angelus and edited by Nicolaus Germanus, reprinted from Holle's first Ulm edition of 1482. “Shortly after publication [of the 1482 edition] Leinhart Holle went bankrupt. His stock was taken over by Johann Reger who, four years later in 1486, put out a second edition with a printing of about 1000 copies” (Shirley). Reger augmented the present edition with his Registrum alphabeticum and the anonymous De locis et mirabilibus mundi. “This edition is a page for page reprint of Holle's 1482 edition as far as the recto of leaf I2 (b2). The remainder of the text of Ptolemy occupies slightly more space…” (BMC). The 32 maps printed from the same blocks as the first Ulm edition with new woodcut headings comprise the normal compliment of Ptolemaic maps (world map, 14 of Europe, 4 of Africa, 13 of Asia). The world map in the Ulm Ptolemy is of particular interest as it is the first printed map to be signed (Shirley 10). BMC II, 540; Campbell Earliest Maps, 179-210; BSB-Ink P-860; Goff P-1084; HC *13540; The World Encompassed 37.