Cellarius, Andreas | An outstanding example of atlas production from the Golden Age of Dutch cartography
What is guaranteed?
Harmonia Macrocosmica seu atlas universalis et novus. Amsterdam: J. Jansson, 1661
Folio (505 x 325mm). Letterpress title with woodcut printer's device, engraved allegorical frontispiece and 29 double-page engraved celestial charts, handcolored with frames in grisaille and heightened with gold, on guards, 4 engraved and 2 woodcut text diagrams, floriated woodcut initials, arabesque woodcut tailpieces; tiny ink burn to one plate, a few plates with tape strengthening where they have begun to separate from guards, occasional minor rubbing or finger soiling to margins of text. Contemporary gilt-paneled vellum, covers with large central arabesque inside a central panel with gilt corner tools, flat spine gilt in 8 compartments; silk ties lacking, a little rubbed.
First edition, second issue of the only celestial atlas published in the Netherlands and an outstanding example of atlas production from the Golden Age of Dutch cartography. Unlike the later celestial atlases, the Cellarius charts demonstrated various ancient and contemporary cosmological ideas, rather than just the names and positions of the stars. The purpose of the book was to assess different attempts to discover the underlying harmony of the universe.
The charts represent the highest levels of seventeenth-century astronomical thought, with the diagrams showing aspects of the three great theories on the nature of the universe: the Ptolemaic, the Copernican and the Brahean. Strangely, Cellarius remains a somewhat mysterious figure, with little known other than that he was the rector of the Latin school of Hoorn and a gifted mathematician.
Koeman IV, Cel 2; Snyder, Oude Hemelkaarten p.115f; Whitfield p.101: "The most elaborate and famous celestial atlas of the seventeenth century was issued by an author unknown to the history of astronomy."
Condition as described in catalogue entry.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.