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  • 1482 edition Ptolemy's Cosmographia beats estimate by 26%
  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • 1482CosmographiaeditionPtolemy's

1482 edition Ptolemy's Cosmographia beats estimate by 26%

A 1482 edition of Ptolemy's Cosmographia headlined a sale of maps and atlases at Sotheby's London on November 4, beating an estimate of £400,000 ($637,700) by 26.6% to take £506,500 ($807,487).

The famous atlas brings together some of the most important maps of the era and was first printed in the German city of Ulm in the mid 15th century by a Benedictine monk named Nicolaus Germanus.

Ptolemy atlas cosmographia
Ptolemy (circa AD 90-168) was an influential cartographer

It's an updated version of the Greek astronomer, philosopher and writer Ptolemy's Cosmographia, which was executed centuries earlier.  

His instructions on plotting coordinates proved hugely important to the development of cartography in the middle ages.

Mark Catesby's Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands also sold well, realising £194,500 ($310,081) against a valuation of £180,000 ($286,965).

Catesby (1682-1749) was a British naturalist who travelled widely in the southern states of America.

His illustrations of local flora and fauna were sold as a subscription between 1731 and 1743 and comprise 220 hand-engraved plates.

Other lots included a rare 1734 map of the Philippines by Jesuit priest Pedro Murillo Velarde.

It sold for £170,500 ($272,681), an increase of 468.3% on a £30,000 ($47,827) estimate.

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  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • 1482CosmographiaeditionPtolemy's