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Stock# 87099

Including the Frisius-Apian World Map.

Nice example of the 1564 Latin edition of Peter Apian's Cosmographia, first published in 1524.

Apian's 1524 Cosmographia was his greatest work, not least of which for the inclusion of his map of the world. It was a wide-ranging treatise on astronomy, geography, cartography, navigation, and instrument-making. This knowledge was eagerly sought-after and resulted in many subsequent editions after 1544. The present work relates much of the work available in Apian's first edition of 1524, including its fantastic woodblock illustrations of armillary spheres, astronomical phenomena, and world maps.

The primary double-page world map included in this work is Shirley 82 (block 2):

PETER APIAN'S Cosmographia, first published in 1524, was republished many times throughout the sixteenth century. From 1544 onwards most of the editions contain a truncated cordiform world map which is reportedly based on the larger map of the world prepared by Gemma Frisius and published from Louvain in 1540, but which has now been lost.

How faithful this smaller woodcut version is to the lost original it is not possible to determine. The continents are broadly presented as in the globe gores for Mercator's globe of 1541 but North America (labelled Baccalearium in reference to the cod fishing nearby) has shrunk to a slender peninsula lying almost east-west. There are relatively few geographic features; instead there are a number of small drawings of animals and ships, and even a mermaid. Frisius' 1540 map is said to have been dedicated to the Emperor Charles V; in this 1544 copy one of the deistic personages at the head of the map has as a design on his breastplate the Holy Roman Emperor's double eagle. The heart-shaped border of the map contains signs of the zodiac, and the outer surround is filled with clouds and winds, including three cadaverous windheads representing the traditional plague-carrying winds of the south.

The map is one of the earliest obtainable world maps not based on the works of Ptolemy. North America is depicted as a narrow stretch of land extending almost eastwards. Cuba and Hispaniola are shown as huge islands and the Mountains of the Moon are considered the source of the River Nile. The map includes a Northwest Passage, above which is a fascinating projection of Asia. North America is called "Baccalearum" for its cod fisheries. The narrow Straits of Magellan represent the only passage between South America and an understated Terra Australis. The "truncated" cordiform projection used prevents the south polar regions from being more fully represented.

Apian's cosmography is here bound with a short 18th-century description of the technicalities of the calendar entitled Erklärung und Bericht des Neuer Fundenen Kalendars


[4, including title]; Folios 1-30; Charta Cosmographica, Cum Vetnorum Propria Natura et Operatione [folding woodblock map]; Folios 31-64; [8].

Condition Description
Quarto. Later mottled calf, rebacked. Complete with fold-out woodcut map of the world. Minor marginalia to title and final blank. (Endpapers and pastedowns renewed with old laid paper. Volvelles supplied in expert facsimile on 17th-century laid paper. Unretouched leafcast to lower corner from [A1] to Hiii, including title. Additional light and professional restoration to corners and edges of leaves throughout. Discrete dampstain from O3 onwards. Partial erasement to early manuscript on title. Minor restoration of tears and weak spots to map, with reinstatement of lower margin and loss of lower neatline).