|Dimensions||250 x 170 mm|
An early woodcut map of the British Isles, from the final German edition of Munster's celebrated Cosmographia. The map, issued in editions of the Cosmographia from 1578 onwards, replaced an earlier block cut by Munster in 1540 for inclusion in the Geography. In many ways, the replacement, possibly cut by the publisher Henrich Petri, is cartographically retrogressive, stripping out some of the place names from Munster's original, and reintroducing the distinctive Ptolemaic right-angled orientation for Scotland. Parts of Hibernia (Ireland) are shown, as are more details of the continental coast. Shirley suggests that the map's shortcomings are less the result of a deliberate cartographic choice than they are a practical one. The reduced scale of the page, and the decision to have the British Isles presented with north to top rather than west to top meant Petri simply could not fit Scotland into the block.
Sebastian Münster (20th January 1488 - 26th May 1552) was a German cartographer, cosmographer, and theologian. A gifted scholar of Hebraic, Münster originally joined the Franciscans, but left the order in favour of the Lutheran Church. He was appointed to the University of Basel in 1529, and published a number of works in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. His most celebrated works are his Latin edition of Ptolemy's Geographia in 1540, and the Cosmographia in 1544. The Cosmographia was the earliest German description of the world, an ambitious work of 6 volumes published in numerous editions in German, Latin, French, Italian, and Czech.
Henricus Petrus (1508-1579) was a German printer and published, whose print-works in Basel produced some of the most influential works of the German Renaissance, including Copernicus' De revolutionibus orbium coelestium and Munster's Cosmographia.
Condition: Surface abrasion and wear to left hand side of block. Minor time toning and staining to margins. Repaired chips and insect damage to margins. German text above and on verso.