PTOLEMAEUS, Claudius (after 83 - ca 168 AD). Geographie opus nouissima traductione e Grecorum archetypis castigatissime pressum. Strassburg: Johann Schott 1513.
PTOLEMAEUS, Claudius (after 83 - ca 168 AD). Geographie opus nouissima traductione e Grecorum archetypis castigatissime pressum. Strassburg: Johann Schott 1513. Folio (18 ½ x 12 ½ in.; 47 x 31.7 cm.). 47 woodcut maps by Martin Waldseemüller (all but 2 double-page), including "Tabula terre nove", the last map ("Lotharingia") printed in colors, 4 woodcut diagrams in text, one large woodcut of an armillary sphere on K1; lower portion of the title-page renewed with 12 lines of text on verso supplied in excellent pen-work facsimile, lower portion of last leaf renewed, without the final blank leaf, some browning and staining, a few leaves skillfully repaired affecting the image in 3 maps: Italy, Switzerland and the Upper Rhineland. Contemporary blind-stamped paneled calf over wooden boards, each cover decorated with alternating fillets of a stag and hunter, and a thistle and bird roll tool, fore-edges lettered in Greek: "Ptolemaio", original vellum page-markers (brass catches and clasps and corner pieces renewed to style, recently and expertly conserved by James and Stuart Brockman Ltd, full report available on request). PROVENANCE: Copious contemporary marginal scholarly annotations in Greek and Latin; Pierre S. du Pont III (1911-1988), his sale Collection of Navigation Christie's 8th October 1991, lot 214. Nicholas Barker of the British Library says that the numerous manuscript annotations could only have been made by a very sophisticated scholar of mathematics. “THE FIRST ‘MODERN’ EDITION OF PTOLEMY AND "THE MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL PTOLEMY EDITIONS" (Streeter Sale I:6) The first modern atlas, prepared by Martin Waldseemuller using the translation of Mathias Ringmann. This is one of the most important editions of Ptolemy, containing many new regional maps: twenty new maps based on contemporary knowledge "unlike many of the alleged 'new' maps produced by earlier editors, [they] contained a great deal of new information, and in nearly every case they were decided improvements over anything that had been previously offered." ("The World Encompassed", 56), were included in addition to the traditional body of twenty-seven Ptolemaic maps derived from the 1482 Ulm edition (or possibly from the manuscript atlas of Nicolaus Germanus that served as source for the latter). Schott's edition while initiated by the most famous of all early sixteenth-century cosmographers, Martin Waldseemuller and his associate Mathias Ringmann, partly at the expense of Duke Rene of Lorraine, was brought to completion by Jacobus Eszler and Georgius Ubelin. THE FIRST MAP IN AN ATLAS ENTIRELY DEVOTED TO AMERICA. The atlas contains "Tabula terre nove". Often called the "Admiral's map" after Columbus, unlike its predecessor by Peter Martyr, it shows the continental Atlantic seaboard, with a continuous coastline stretching from the mouth of the Rio de la Plata to the St. Lawrence River. Although not to scale the map depicts a complete Gulf of Mexico. The island of Cuba is here named Isabella after Queen Isabella of Spain, who funded Columbus's expedition of 1492. The first issue of Waldseemuller's map published in 1507 introduces for the first time "America" to name South America, but in this atlas issue he acknowledges Columbus's discovery with the legend: "Hec terra cum adiacentib insulis inuenta est per Columbus ianuensem ex mandato Regis Castelle" (This land with its adjacent islands was discovered by Columbus, sent by the king of Castile). The map of Lotharingia (the first map of the Duchy of Lorrain), printed in black, red and olive, is one the earliest examples of color-printing. This edition was reprinted in 1520 using the same woodcut blocks. REFERENCES: Fairfax Murray "German" 348 and 348A; Harrisse 74; Phillips 359; Sabin 66478; Shirley 34. Bookseller Inventory # 000426