London, South Kensington
18 November 2003
APIANUS, Petrus (Pieter Bienewitz, 1495-1552) & Reiner GEMMA FRISIUS (1508-1555). Cosmographia, sive descritpio universi orbis, Antwerp: Arnold Coninx, 1584. 4° (240 x 160mm). Large woodcut of a globe on title, folding woodcut world map after Frisius, numerous astronomical and geographical woodcut illustrations and diagrams, those on pp. 20, 65 and 189 with volvelles, that on p. 23 with string pointer. (Lacking D1 & D2 including one volvelle, volvelle on p. 189 detached, map creased, evenly browned throughout.) Contemporary lavishly blind-stamped vellum over boards (old calf reback, spines chipped). Provenance: Convent ? Ord. Praedicat. (partly erased stamp on title) -- Manuscript library inscription on pastedown.
One of numerous 16th-century editions of Apianus' popular geographical and astronomical treatise, in the enlarged and modified version of his student, the globe- and instrument-maker Gemma Frisius, first published in 1529 and further enlarged in 1530. Gemma's most important contribution is the chapter entitled "Libellus de locorum describendorum ratione", which contains the earliest description of triangulation as a means of accurate surveying and mapping. Adams A1287.
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