LUBENIECKI, STANISLAW. Theatrum Cometicum. Amsterdam: D. Baccamude for F. Cuperus, 1668-66-68.
3 parts in one vol., folio, 378 x 240 mm., contemporary vellum over pasteboards, edges stained red, double-page plate LX (part 2) with closed marginal tear just entering image, folding plate 22 (part 1) with small repair and short tear at guard, 7 plates and 2 or 3 text leaves with short marginal tears or small repairs, large marginal tear to fol. Aa3 in part 2, occasional light foxing to text; modern half morocco folding case.
FIRST EDITION, 3 parts in one, separately signed and paginated, each part with engraved title dated 1667 by Sebastian Stopendaal after M. Scheits, and letterpress titles dated as above, engraved portrait of the author by L. Visschiius in part 1, engraved portrait of Joannes Ernestus de Rautenstein in part 3, 81 engraved plates of constellations, diagrams of orbits, etc., many double-page or folding, by Stopendaal, Gerardi, Gerritsz and others after M. C. Isenius and others, THE PLATES FINELY COLORED BY A CONTEMPORARY HAND, THE TITLES HEIGHTENED IN GOLD, a few diagrams colored in part only, the titles, portraits, and plates in part 1 colored in gouache, most plates in part 2 colored in watercolor. Plate 62, part 2, printed upside down.
PRESENTATION COPY FROM THE AUTHOR TO GUSTAVUS ADOLPHUS, DUKE OF MECKLENBURG, with a four-page autograph(?) inscription in Latin at front, dated Altona, Holstein, 6 July 1669. A SPLENDID COPY of this encyclopaedic treatise on comets, containing a history of all comets observed up to 1665. The first and most extensive part consists of Lubeniecki's correspondence with 40 of the leading astronomers of the period, including Guericke, Hevelius and Schott, about the comet of 1664-65. The very fine engravings consist of celestial maps showing the paths of comets and mythological figures of the constellations. "Since each map represents the observations of a different astronomer, taken together they illustrate the variety of cartographic traditions popular during the seventeenth century. On many of the maps the choice of constellations, of constellation style, and of...names are strongly reminiscent of the celestial globes of Blaeu and Hondius. Several other maps carry the Judeao-Christian constellations introduced by Plancius... None of the maps reflects any of the traditions popular during the previous century" (D. J. Warner, The Sky Explored: Celestial Cartography, 1500-1800, p. 164).
Brunet III, 1194; Poggendorff I, 1508.
Provenance: Gustavus Adolphus, Duke of Mecklenburg, presentation copy as above -- Christian Ernst, Graf zu Stolberg, engraved armorial bookplate dated 1721, stamp (blurred) of the Stolberg library at Wernigerode at foot of first engraved title -- Robert Honeyman IV (sale, Sotheby's London, 12-13 May 1980, lot 2052) -- The British Rail Pension Fund (sale, Sotheby's London, 27 September 1988, lot 205).