808. [Astronomy - Cosmography]
4to: -64- ff. (spotting, some minor soiling).
Mod. blind-stamped leather "à l'ancienne" (very sl. rubbed, some light scratches), spine with 5 raised bands, mod. endpapers. Good copy.
Very rare issue of the leading cosmographical textbook of the German humanist Apianus (1495-1552), with corrections and additions by the Leuven professor Gemma Frisius (1508-1555). This issue is identical to another one printed by Coppens van Diest in 1564 (Ortroy 47), except for the title which has Verwithagen's name instead of Heirs A. Birckmann as publisher. The 4 parts deal with cosmography and astronomy, geography, astronomical observations by night, and surveying (by Gemma Frisius). The text on America dates the discovery 1497 and states that Amerigo Vespucci gave the continent his name. It is followed by Gemma’s account of Peru and the expedition of 1530. Numerous woodcuts: large astronomical ill. on title, various maps, charts and diagrams in text, 3 full-page spheres, a folding woodcut cordiform world map (= quire I; often missing) and 4 volvelles with movable parts (on ff. 8v, 11r, 28r and 49r; string leading lines missing on first and last ones? Sm. watercolour painting depicting a church pasted on upper part of 1st one; upper triangle of 2nd one replaced by ms. & drawn copy, on verso of a piece of playing card). One of the reasons for the book’s enormous popularity was undoubtedly its discussion of the newly discovered lands in the New World. Another was the book's inclusion of ingenious paper devices called volvelles which enabled one to solve practical mathematical problems relating to time-telling, the calendar, and astronomy and astrology.
Ref. Van Ortroy (Apianus) 48 = (Gemma) 26. - BT 7791. - Alden/Landis 564/4. - Shirley 96. - Pettegree NB 2411. - USTC 409495 (4 copies). - Cp. BB II:88:A-37. - Cp. Sabin 1749. - Not in Adams, STC Dutch (BL).
Prov. Some contemp. marg. notes in Latin. - "Del Marqués de Jarandilla mi senor" (old ownership entry on title). - Old long ms. inscription on f. 9v, mentioning the year 1582 and signed "Palomares". A note copied from or referring to the Spanish cosmographer Alonso Palomares de Vargas, who went to Panama City in 1581 to observe a lunar eclipse, in order to determine the geographical longitude? - Erwin Tomash (1921-2012), American engineer and pioneer in the development of computers (label on front pastedown; lot num. 18 of "The Erwin Tomash Library on the history of computing").
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