Nicholaos Sophianos (ca 1500-1551). Descriptio Nova Totius Graeciae per Nicolaum Sphianum. Basel: [Johannes Schroeterus], [possibly after October], 1601.

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Rare Copy of Sophianos Map of Greece

Nicholaos Sophianos (ca 1500-1551).

Descriptio Nova Totius Graeciae per Nicolaum Sphianum. 

Basel: [Johannes Schroeterus], [possibly after October], 1601.

8 sheets joined, 30 2/8 x 44 inches sheet, 36 1/2 x 49 1/2 inches framed.

Fine woodcut map of Greece, dedication to members of Tycho Brahe's family by I. Jacobus Grassius (Johann Jacob Grasser 1579-1627, Poet Laureate in Basel in 1601), and descriptive text, dated 1601, within elaborate allegorical cartouche lower left, scale lower right, the sea decorated with magnificent galleons, warships and boats, threatened by terrible sea monsters, by "CHS", probably Master Christoph otherwise known as Christoph Schweicker of Strasbourg (who was one of the artists for Munster's "Cosmographia"), and "CH", after Sophianos (without a rare separate ninth sheet printing the key, and giving a list of ancient and modern place-names; some light browning to edges and joins, some discreet repairs lower left).

Provenance: Purchased from Nico Israel, Amsterdam, January 1985, by Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co, their sale, Rachel Davis Auction September 21st, 2013, lot 423.

AN EXCEPTIONALLY RARE COPY, AND THE MOST IMPORTANT AND INFLUENTIAL 16TH-CENTURY MAP OF GREECE. published during Ottoman occupation, This map was used by the Pope to incite Christian Greeks to retake their land from the Muslims.
A variant of the 1601 re-issue, apparently not previously noted, with a dedication to members of astronomer Tycho Brahe's (1546-1601) family, rather than to Andreae Riffio, of Johannes Operin's Basel edition of 1544 and 1545. The map is printed from the same woodcuts and shows Operin's printer's mark of Arion playing his lyre as he rides two dolphins in the sea above the dedicatory cartouche, and the initials of the woodblock artist Christoph Schweicker "CHS" dated 1544 on the sail of a boat north of the island of Crete