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Description

Tycho Brahe's armillary sphere, from Blaeu's Nuevo Atlas o Teatro del Mundo, the Spanish edition of Blaeu's Atlas Maior.

Tyco Brahe (1546-1601) was widely considered to be greatest astronomer of the second half of the 16th Century. King Frederick II granted Tycho an estate on the island of Hven and the money to build Uraniborg, an early astronomical research institute, where he built his own large astronomical instruments and took many careful measurements of the orbits of planets and the moon. The telescope was not invented until seven years after his death.

Brahe's "armillae aequatoria maximae" ("great equatorial armillary") was used for measuring the paths of planets and the moon across the sky. 

Blaeu's images of Tycho Brahe's instruments are drawn from Brahe's own wood-cuts, first published in his Astronomiae Instauratiae Mechanicae of 1598.

Condition Description
Spanish verso text.
Willem Janszoon Blaeu Biography

Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571-1638) was a prominent Dutch geographer and publisher. Born the son of a herring merchant, Blaeu chose not fish but mathematics and astronomy for his focus. He studied with the famous Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, with whom he honed his instrument and globe making skills. Blaeu set up shop in Amsterdam, where he sold instruments and globes, published maps, and edited the works of intellectuals like Descartes and Hugo Grotius. In 1635, he released his atlas, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, sive, Atlas novus.

Willem died in 1638. He had two sons, Cornelis (1610-1648) and Joan (1596-1673). Joan trained as a lawyer, but joined his father’s business rather than practice. After his father’s death, the brothers took over their father’s shop and Joan took on his work as hydrographer to the Dutch East India Company. Later in life, Joan would modify and greatly expand his father’s Atlas novus, eventually releasing his masterpiece, the Atlas maior, between 1662 and 1672.