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Astronomy, Diagram, Globes and Armillary Sphere, Sphaerae Artificiales, Seutter, Antique Print, 18th Century
Georg Matthaus Seutter (1678 – 1757) Sphaerae Artificiales Synoptica Idea
Nuremberg: Early 18th Century
18.5 x 23.5 inches
An 18th Century study of a pair of terrestrial and celestial globes and a Ptolemaic armillary sphere, en suite, all on Baroque stands. The terrestrial globe shows Asia, Europe and Africa with simple cartography, the celestial shows various constellations with figures according to Greek mythology. The armillary sphere has a central earth called “Terra,” within horizon, and meridian, the central bands including zodiac, equator, tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, and polar circles. Each of the Baroque stands incorporates caryatid elements in the supports, together with other classical ornamentation. The globes are set as a still life, with the armillary sphere in the center, on a checkerboard-design table or floor, surmounted by the title in a ribbon. A similar image was produced in the same period by another German publisher, J.B. Homann, but with a different title in a solid rectangular top border, and with a shaded rather than checkerboard design on which the globes are set.
The Seutter family of cartographers were, together with the Homann family, the most renowned and prolific map makers of 18th century Germany, the leading center of atlas production at that time. Georg Matthäus Seutter (the Elder, 1687-1757) founded the family business in about 1710, after an apprenticeship with the Augsburg publisher Jeremias Wolff. Seutter worked in Vienna and then mostly in Augsburg, serving as Geographer to the Imperial Court (of Charles VI). He was joined in business by his son, Albrecht Carl Seutter (1722-1762). After Seutter’s death in 1757, his son, as well as engravers G.B. Probst and Tobias Conrad Lotter (1717-1777) (his son in law) took over the business publishing under the Seutter name for about 5 more years. Thereafter, Lotter continued to issue maps and atlases, generally under his own name. The Seutter family published a number of important atlases during the 18th century, most notably Atlas Novus Sive Tabulae Geographicae (various editions c. 1720-45) and Grosser Atlas (c. 1734-35). Seutter maps bear a similarity to those of Homann, noteworthy for their minute cartographic detail and often large and decorative cartouches.
Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning, wear, handling.