CELESTIAL ATLAS. BAYER, JOHANN. 1572-1625. Uranometria, omnium asterismorum continens schemata, nova methodo delineata, aereis laminis expressa. [Augsburg: Christophorus Mangus, 1639.]

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Lot 2
CELESTIAL ATLAS.
BAYER, JOHANN. 1572-1625.
Uranometria, omnium asterismorum continens schemata, nova methodo delineata, aereis laminis expressa. [Augsburg: Christophorus Mangus, 1639.]

US$ 12,000 - 18,000
£ 9,000 - 13,000
CELESTIAL ATLAS.
BAYER, JOHANN. 1572-1625. Uranometria, omnium asterismorum continens schemata, nova methodo delineata, aereis laminis expressa. [Augsburg: Christophorus Mangus, 1639.]
Folio (435 x 330 mm). Engraved architectural title (285 x 191 mm) signed with monogram "AMF" [Alexander Mair Fecit] and dated 1603, featuring figures of Atlas and Hercules on pedestals flanking central title scroll, Apollo, Cybele, and Diana on pedestals above, and figure of Capricorn and vignette of the city of Augsburg below; manuscript star catalogue in Latin entitled "Suprema ad Boream, Coeli pars Infima ad Astrum" in an early hand to blank space on either side of title. With 51 copper-engraved star charts (383 x 280 mm) featuring the 48 Ptolemaic constellations, 1 chart of the 12 new constellations unknown to Ptolemy, and 2 planispheres showing the northern and southern hemispheres, each unfolded, pressed, and mounted. Early vellum binding. Binding worn & soiled, some areas of loss to vellum at spine and edges; repaired tear to title, small area of loss at title scroll, a few other very small areas of loss at edges, one with lines drawn in in manuscript, fly-leaves soiled, some occasional soiling or spots to margins, overall plates fresh & bright.
Provenance: Early ownership inscription to title.

SECOND EDITION OF THE FIRST ACCURATE STAR ATLAS, with title page of the first edition of 1603. The first edition inconveniently printed the table of stars for each constellation to the verso of each plate. This not only made it impossible to consult the table while looking at the chart, but also, the letterpress showed through, spoiling the beauty of the plates. This problem was rectified in the second edition, which left the versos of the plates blank.

The Uranometria was the first book to render the maps of the constellations as an atlas, rather than as pictures, in order to present the 48 Ptolemaic constellations. Prior to Bayer, star charts used awkward verbal descriptions to identify the location of individual stars within the constellations. Bayers' great innovation was to instead use Greek nomenclature to identify the individual stars, which made locating stars with the naked eye immensely easier, a hugely helpful system at the time, as Galileo was not to introduce his greatly refined telescope for another seven years. Honeyman 246; Norman 142; Deborah Warner, The Sky Explored: Celestial Cartography 1500-1800 pp 18-19; Zimmer 3951.
Contacts
CELESTIAL ATLAS. BAYER, JOHANN. 1572-1625. Uranometria, omnium asterismorum continens schemata, nova methodo delineata, aereis laminis expressa. [Augsburg: Christophorus Mangus, 1639.]
CELESTIAL ATLAS. BAYER, JOHANN. 1572-1625. Uranometria, omnium asterismorum continens schemata, nova methodo delineata, aereis laminis expressa. [Augsburg: Christophorus Mangus, 1639.]
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