Cellarius Celestial and Astronomy Charts
from Harmonia Macrocosmica, Amsterdam: 1660-61, 1708
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Detail from Harmonia Macrocosmica Detail from Harmonia Macrocosmica
Detail from Harmonia Macrocosmica Detail from Harmonia Macrocosmica Detail from Harmonia Macrocosmica
Andreas Cellarius (c. 1596-1665) (after)
Celestial and Astronomy Charts
from Harmonia Macrocosmica Seu Atlas Universalis Et Novus, Totius Universi Creati Cosmographiam Generalem, Et Novam Exhibens
Jan Jansson, Amsterdam: 1660, 1661
Peter Schenk and Gerard Valk, Amsterdam: 1708
Hand-colored engravings
17 x 20 inches, plate mark, approximate
$4,750 and above, each

A group of prints from Andreas Cellarius’ Harmonia Macrocosmica, the only celestial and astronomical atlas published in the Netherlands during the golden age of Dutch cartography. The 29 cosmological engravings — together a compendium of theories of the universe as of the late 17th century — are richly engraved in the Baroque style, with elaborate decorative classical figures in the banners and four corners of each print. Cellarius illustrated various theories of astronomy, including the Ptolemaic theory (the earth was at the center of the universe), the revolutionary Copernican theory (the sun was at the center of the solar system), and Tycho Brahe’s compromise intermediate theory. The set also contains numerous magnificent constellation charts of the northern and southern hemispheres illustrating star formations in traditional classical mythological and scientific instrument forms, as well as an alternative interpretation of the stars in biblical forms.

Very little is known about Andreas Cellarius, even though he is considered by many to have produced the most beautiful celestial atlas ever made. Born in Neuhausen, Germany (now known as Worms), Cellarius was educated at the University of Heidelberg. In 1625, he was working as a schoolmaster in Amsterdam. In 1637, he became the rector of the Latin School at Hoorn, Holland, where he remained for the rest of his life. He published works on fortifications and on Poland, but is remembered for Harmonia Macrocosmica, originally issued by Jan Jansson in 1660. The first edition, second issue, is identical except for the change of date to 1661. The Dutch publishers Peter Schenk and Gerard Valk reissued the Cellarius atlas in 1708 with the original copper plates; they are identified by the addition of their imprint in the right side title banner or in the lower center border. The edition of the charts offered here is indicated above; all are from the Schenk and Valk edition except one.

Condition: Each generally very good with only minor overall toning, wear, handling. Vertical centerfold professionally flattened.

References:

"Andreas Cellarius." Wikipedia. 13 November 2014. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andreas_Cellarius (20 November 2014).

Brown, Basil. Astronomical Atlases, Charts and Maps: An Historical and General Guide. London: Dawsons of Pall Mall, 1968. 40-41.

Koeman, Cornelis and van der Krogt, Peter C.J. Atlantes Neerlandici. 'T Goy-Houten : Westrenen, 1997. 2.

Snyder, George Sergeant. Maps of the Heavens. New York: Abbeville Press, 1984. p. 115.

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1 Haemisphaerium Stellatum Boreale Antiquum Northern Stellar Hemisphere of Antiquity Constellations Peter Schenk and Gerard Valk, Amsterdam: 1708 The northern stellar hemisphere depicted according to the classical view, championed by Aristotle, where the stars were on a huge, transparent sphere that rotated around Earth and around the spheres of the planets and Sun. This chart shows the northern hemisphere of this crystal sphere with its constellations drawn as figurative representations with representations of the stars in various magnitudes. This particular chart is one of Cellarius's iconic images in its combination of scientific accuracy and the artistic flair and drama of the depictions of individual animals and mythological figures. Surrounding the chart is an elaborate skyscape of billowing clouds and playful putti. 17 x 20 inches, border; 21.5 x 25.75 inches, overall 6500 haemisphaerium.jpg haemisphaerium-2.jpg
2 Situs Terrae Circulis Coelestibus Circundatae The Earth and Its Celestial Circles Earth and Its Circles Peter Schenk and Gerard Valk, Amsterdam: 1708 Astronomical chart featuring the earth as a globe, within a meridian and horizon ring, surrounded by a zodiac band showing the constellations in the apparent path of the sun. Larger celestial circles are shown. The margins are decorated in the Baroque manner with cherubs and classically dressed women with scientific instruments (one possibly representing Urania, Greek muse of astronomy) amidst clouds. 16.75 x 20 inches platemark; 20 x 22.75 inches overall 5500 situs.jpg situs-2.jpg
3 Solis Circa Orbem Terrarum Spiralis Revolutio Spiral Path of the Sun Around the Earth Path of the Sun Peter Schenk and Gerard Valk, Amsterdam: 1708 Diagram of the path of the sun relative to the earth. A central earth globe, showing the Eastern Hemisphere, is encircled by a band decorated with pictorial images representing the constellations of the zodiac. These elements are within a circular frame labeled with the positions of the sun, from Zenith at the top to Nadir at the bottom. The rest of the chart is decorated with images of billowing clouds and four playful putti, two of which hold strings attached to flying birds. 17 x 19.5 inches, border; 19.25 x 23 inches, overall 4750 solis.jpg solis-2.jpg
4 Orbium Planetarum Terram Complectentium Scenographia Planet Earth Including Scenography Earth Peter Schenk and Gerard Valk, Amsterdam: 1708 Ptolemaic astronomical chart in the form of the concentric rings of an armillary sphere, demonstrating the apparent movements of sun, moon and planets around the earth within an equinoctial and a zodiacal ring. It is decorated in the four corners by putti carrying two title cartouches and two diagrams demonstrating the systems of Ptolemy and Tycho Brahe. A small globe of the earth in the center shows most of the American continent and the western part of Europe. 16.75 x 19.25 inches platemark; 20 x 23.75 inches overall 4750 orbium1.jpg orbium1-2.jpg
5 Orbium Planetarum Terram Complectentium Scenographia Planet Earth Including Scenography Earth Jan Jansson, Amsterdam: 1660, 1661 Ptolemaic astronomical chart in the form of the concentric rings of an armillary sphere, demonstrating the apparent movements of sun, moon and planets around the earth within an equinoctial and a zodiacal ring. It is decorated in the four corners by putti carrying two title cartouches and two diagrams demonstrating the systems of Ptolemy and Tycho Brahe. A small globe of the earth in the center shows most of the American continent and the western part of Europe. 16.75 x 19.75 inches platemark; 19.5 x 23.5 inches overall 5500 orbium2.jpg orbium2-2.jpg
6 Typus Selenograhicus Lunae Phases et Aspectus Varios Adumbrans Selenographic Diagram Depicting the Varying Phases and Appearances of the Moon with Shading Phases of the Moon Peter Schenk and Gerard Valk, Amsterdam: 1708 One large central diagram and two smaller ones in the lower corners show how the phases of the moon are caused by the direction of the sun's rays and the moon's position as it orbits the earth. The central circular chart shows a globe of the earth surrounded by billowing clouds, and eight shaded spheres representing the moon in different phases from new moon to full moon. A personified sun at the top emanates rays of light that extend beyond this diagram to the edges of the chart. The lower left diagram, titled Nomina Phasium et Aspectuum Lunae shows a more detailed progression of 36 spheres representing the names of the phases and appearances of the moon. The lower right diagram, titled Phases Lunae Respectu Solis et Oculi shows 12 lunar phases "with respect to the sun and the eyes," the light rays indicated by black outlines. The rest of the print is decorated with tiny stars and putti holding the title banners and scientific instruments. 17 x 20.375 inches, plate mark; 21.5 x 25 inches, overall 6000 selenographicus.jpg selenographicus-2.jpg