[De Sphaera Caelesti]

Method Copper engraved
Artist van den Keere, Pieter
Published [Cornelis Claesz, Middelburg, c.1598]
Dimensions 85 x 125 mm
Notes A rare and finely detailed miniature map of the celestial hemispheres, north and south, from Langenes 'Caert-Thresoor', engraved by van den Keere. In 1616, Langenes' celestial map was replaced by a new plate engraved by Jodocus Hondius. This early example shows the stars as part of their figural zodiacal figures, with labels in latin and their alchemical symbols occupying the spaces between degrees. The rest of the plate is ornamented by strapworking.

Pieter van den Keere, also known frequently as Petrus Kaerius, came to England in 1584, as a Protestant refugee from his home town of Ghent with his sister Colette, who married Jodocus Hondius, in 1587. It was probably from Hondius that Keere learned to engrave. Both engravers left London in 1593 to settle in Amsterdam. His first set of miniature maps were produced for the Middelburg publisher Cornelis Claesz, for inclusion in Barent Langenes' Caert Thresoor. Keere began to engrave a series of miniature maps in 1599 in preparation for a small atlas of the British Isles. The maps were first published in 1617 by William Blaeu with plate numbers and Latin text. They then passed to George Humble, who published them in 1619 and then again in 1627, by which time they had become known colloquially as 'Miniature Speeds.'

Barent Langenes (fl. 1597/1598) was a Dutch bookseller and publisher. Little is known about his life and work, apart from his publication of 'Caert-Thresoor' in Middelburg in 1598. The atlas was for sale at Cornelis Claesz's shop in Amsterdam, and was later republished by Claesz, without the Langenes name. The atlas was published by several publishers in different languages between 1598 and 1650 and became quite popular this way. Today the Langenes atlas is mostly associated with Petrius Bertius, who published the first Latin edition in 1600 under the title 'Tabularum Geographicarum Contractarum'.

Condition: Very good clean impression with full margins. Minor damp stains to margins. Latin text on verso.
Framing mounted
Price £350.00
Stock ID 47416