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Astronomy, Diagram, Celestial Chart, Homann and Doppelmayr, Antique Prints, Nuremberg, 18th Century

Johann Baptist Homann (1664-1724) (cartographer)
Johann Gabriel Doppelmayr (1677-1750) (astronomer)
Celestial and Astronomical Charts
from Atlas Coelestis in quo Mundus Spectabilis
Johann Baptist Homann [Homann Heirs], Nuremberg: 1742 [or revised edition 1748]
Hand-colored engravings
20 x 24 inches, average approximate overall
Prices Vary

Johann Gabriel Doppelmayr and Johann Baptist Homann were frequent collaborators in producing celestial and astronomical charts for atlases published by Homann and issued under various titles.The major two compilations of Dopplemayr’s works were published by Homann Heirs: Atlas Coelestis in quo Mundus Spectabilis et in Eodem Stellarum Omnium Phoenomena Notabilia, issued as 30 plates in 1742, and the revised edition of this work Atlas Novus Coelestis, in quo Mundus Spectabilis, et in Eodem tam Errantium quam Inerrantium Stellarum Phoenomena Notabilia, issued in 1748. (See the frontispiece of this work.)

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The 30 standard charts and diagrams from the above 1742 and 1748 editions have a complicated publishing history, much of which has been deciphered and documented by the contemporary Dutch scholar Robert H. van Gent (see reference below). For example, some of these charts had appeared in earlier Homann editions such as his first atlas, the Neuer Atlas (Nuremberg: 1707). They also variously appeared in Atlas von Hundert Charten (Nuremberg: 1712), Grossen Atlas(Nuremberg: 1716), and Atlas Portatilis Coelestis (Nuremberg: 1723). Homann also issued geographical maps in various atlases that may have included celestial plates (particularly composite atlases), and Homann and his heirs presumably sold separately issued maps.

In addition to these 30 standard Doppelmayr/Homann charts and diagrams from the above editions, van Gent identifies six additional ones (which he names Addenda 1 through 6) that were variously issued in the above atlases, or separately issued, namely Addendum 1, Neu invertirte Geographische Universal (clock); Addendum 2, Planisphærium Cæleste (double hemisphere celestial chart), Addendum 3, Sphaerarum Artificialium Typica Repraesentatio (globes and armillary sphere) and Addendum 4, Die verfinsterte Erdkuge (solar eclipse, which appeared first in the 1748 edition).

Johann Gabriel Doppelmayr, a professor of mathematics at the Aegidien Gymnasium at Nuremberg, was an acclaimed German geographer and astronomer who wrote on astronomy, geography, cartography, trigonometry, sundials and mathematical instruments. He was also involved in the production of globes as part of a larger goal to bring the scientific ideas of the Enlightenment to a broader public. In service of that idea, Doppelmayr translated several works into German including Nicholas Bion’s 1699 work L’usage des Globes Célestes et Terrestes, et des Sphères [The Usage of Celestial and Terrestrial Globes and of Spheres]. Doppelmayr was elected to several scientific societies, including the Berlin Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society and the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences.

Johann Baptist Homann, a former Dominican monk, became a celebrated cartographer of 18th century Nuremberg, Germany, producing maps and celestial charts (generally in atlases), and globes of high quality both in their geographic accuracy and aesthetic appeal. According to map expert R.V. Tooley: “The most important and prolific map-makers in Germany in the 18th century were the Homann family (1702-1813). The founder and principal member was Johann Baptist Homann. He set up his headquarters in Nuremberg and quickly dominated the German market. Nor did he confine his efforts to his homeland, but produced general atlases covering the whole world.”

After settling in Nuremberg in 1688, Johann Baptist Homann was employed as a map engraver before founding his own firm in 1702. Homann’s geographical, celestial, and astronomical maps were published in a variety of atlases throughout the 18th century. Most of his geographical maps first appeared in Neuer Atlas…über die Gantze Welt [New Atlas of the Whole World] (c. 1712-1730), also known in Latin as Atlas Novus) and Grosser Atlas über die Gantze Welt [Grand Atlas of all the World] (c. 1737). His celestial maps, produced in collaboration with Johann Gabriel Doppelmayr, were issued as part of various publications before being published as a collection posthumously by his heirs, most notably as Atlas Coelestis in quo Mundus Spectabilis et in Eodem Stellarum Omnium Phoenomena Notabilia, issued as 30 plates in 1742, with a revised edition in 1748.

Homann’s geographical maps were frequently republished by the Homann heirs throughout the 18th century, most notably in Atlas Geographicus Maior (c. 1780) and Atlas Homannianus (Amsterdam, 1731-1796). Homann was initially succeeded by his son, Johann Christoph Homann (1703-1730), then by his friend Johann Michael Franz (1700-1761) and stepsister’s husband Johann Georg Ebersberger (1695-1760). The company continued operations under different names until 1848.

Condition: Each generally very good with the usual overall light toning, wear, handling, soft creases, printer’s creases. Some with slight irregularities to margin edges. Some with short marginal tears or chips professionally restored. Most with center vertical fold as issued, professionally flattened. Most professionally deacidified. Additional condition issues, if any, noted above.


Dekker, Elly, et al. Globes at Greenwich: A Catalogue of the Globes and Armillary Spheres in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. London: Oxford University Press and the National Maritime Museum, 1999. p. 327.

Tooley, R.V., Maps and Map-Makers.New York: Bonanza Books, 1949. p. 27.

van Gent, Robert H. “The Atlas Coelestis (1742) of Johann Gabriel Doppelmayr.” Web Pages on the History of Astronomy by Robert Harry van Gent. (3 November 2015).

Additional information


18th Century