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Paulus Swaen Old Maps
Paulus Swaen sells Antique Maps, Auction & Gallery
Paulus Swaen sells Antique Maps, Auction & Gallery


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A Unique 18th-Century Korean Map
The only example from the Chosŏn dynasty on which notes and district names appear only in Hangul. - Article by Prof. Gari Keith Ledyard.
From the late Koryo dynasty to the last years of the Chosŏn dynasty, Korea had a rich cartographic history, producing thousands of beautiful national maps using a wide range of cartographic methods and styles.

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For their abundant notes and the indication of place-names, the mapmakers used only Classical Chinese (Hanmun). That was the cultural standard of those times.
But sometime during the 18th century, an anonymous and probably self-trained cartographer decided to produce a map on which all the notes and place-names would be written exclusively in Hangul.
As far as this author can determine, the anonymous mapmaker's map of Korea is the only example from the Chosŏn dynasty on which notes and district names appear only in Hangul.
In this article the author examines his style and methods.

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The map measures 1030 x 630 mm., height to width. It is of about the same proportions as the much larger and untitled "Naikau map" (1515 x 909 mm) of Korea held by the Japanese government's Cabinet Library (Naikaku Bunko), which is considered the oldest known map in the Chong Ch'ok style, dating to the last quarter of the 15th century or copied from a map of that period.
Unfortunately, the map bears neither title nor date , nor is there any indication of the identity of its maker. But its cartographic type is well known and research ed, being of the so - calle Chong Ch’ŏk style, named after an official of many talents, Chong Ch’ok (1390–1475), who during the 15th century was a favorite of five kings, all of whom promoted geographical research and mapmaking.
The defining feature of maps in this style is the problematic depiction of Korea ’s northern border with north eastern China.
The Korean orthography displayed in the placenames on the map is typical of the 18th century, in general agreement with the evidence of the place-name changes and the physical state of the map. Since the cartographic merits of the map are limited compared to earlier and well-known examples of the Chong Ch’ok genre, which are all in Chinese, the chief and unique feature of the Gabor map, that is, its exclusive use of Korean for district names and marginal comments, deserves analysis and comment.
Until the middle of the 15th century, there was no system for writing the spoken Korean language, which is linguistically unrelated to Chinese.
However, as mentioned earlier, classical written Chinese was widely known and used among the educated classes of Korea. It was not a spoken language, even in China itself. There were Korean methods for parsing a written Chinese text using special symbols for grammatical elements in such a way that a subject could be distinguished from an object, or verbal distinctions could be made that would clarify whether a clause was conditional or causative, or a statement, question, or command, etc.

As far as this author can determine, the anonymous mapmaker's map of Korea is the only example from the Chosŏn dynasty on which notes and district names appear only in Hangul.

Read the full article in 2013 The East Asia Institute Special Report.

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Visit our booth at: 32nd IMCoS International Symposium in Seoul, 2014
‘Peace on Maps in East Asia’ is the title of the 32nd International Symposium, which will be held in Seoul between 21 and 24 October, 2014.
Themes to be explored will include representations of the world in East Asian maps, East Asia in European maps, Exchanges of maps in East Asia and Old maps in a contemporary society.

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It will take place in the International Conference Hall at the National Library of Korea and is being organized by Organizing Committee of 32nd International Symposium IMCoS, the National Library of Korea and the Korean Research Association of Old Maps.
A dedicated web page is now open at
Provisional Itinerary
21 October: Registration and welcome party.
22 October: Presentations followed by a visit to a museum and map archives.
23 October: Presentations followed by a visit to a museum and map archives.
24 October: Presentations followed by a visit to a museum and map archives.
Registration Fee: $650–$750 (Student/unwaged 50% of the normal fee)
The fee includes the program and book of abstracts of the papers to be delivered, materials for the symposium, lunches, transport costs and entrance fees for the museums during the conference (22, 23 and 24 October), evening meals on the 21st (welcoming party) and 24th (farewell party).

Pre and Post Symposium Excursions
Monday 20 October, 9:00–17:00 (one-day excursion)
Trip 1: DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) (DMZ is located about 50 km north of Seoul)
Trip 2: Royal Tomb and Fortress & National Geographic Institute in Suwon City (Suwon City is located about 50km south of Seoul)
Saturday 25–Sunday 26 October (1night, 2 days)
Trip to Seoul-Hahoe Village (UNESCO Heritage) & Wooden Plate Museum in Andong-Daegu City-Map Library in Yeongnam University-Seoul
Saturday 25–Monday 27 October (2 nights, 3 days)
Trip to Seoul-Map Library in Yeongnam University-Yangdong Village (UNESCO Heritage)Gyeongju (Accommodation) -Royal Tomb of Silla Dynasty and National Museum-Busan City-Harbour and Map Archives in National Marine Museum Seoul (Daegu and Busan City is located southeast from Seoul each about 300 km and 400 km)
Tuesday 21 October, 9:00–14:00 (Half day tour)
Trip to Insadong in Seoul (traditional market in Seoul city centre)

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Cartographical curiosities, mythical Islands & odyties.

When reading maps, we expect map makers to use standard conventions, especially in regard to projection, orientation, scale, and symbols. When a map maker does not use generally-accepted practices, we ask why? What is the story the map maker is trying to tell?
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The Leo Belgius and the Pegasus map by Bünting are likely the most welknown cartographic curiosities. The auction samples a few items.

Other variants are:
Map of the Wedding island - Love and marriage have always been among the most popular subjects for invented lands, especially in France. The famous medieval courtly romance, Le Roman de la Rose, is set in an allegorical landscape: a young man follows the river (of life) and finds a garden (courtly society). The allegory continues with descriptions of particular parts of the garden. Maps have trated the subject in a variety of ways. A well-known map is Seutter's Representation Symbolique et ingenieuse projettée en Siege et en Bombardement, comme il faut empecher prudemment les attaques de L'amour. Bound in "Almanach de mariage pour l'année 1733.

The below list samples a variety of unconventional maps spanning the history of the printed map.

- Cartographic Misconceptions, such as a lavish seventeenthcentury maps depicting California as an island,
- Mer l'Ouest.
- The mythical island of Frisland.
- Fantastic Maps, such as : the Wedding island,
- Pleasure Island
- the Island of Wisdom,
- The Empire of Love and a
- map of the Paradise.
- Banned maps
- maps and plans printed rather on textile
- World War II pilot escape map printed on synthetic silk cloth.

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Henry S. Tanner and Cartographic Expression of American Expansionism in the 1820s
AMERICAN'S CONCEPT of their nation’s sovereignty extending to the Pacific Ocean developed gradually and hesitatingly during the first three decades of the nineteenth century.

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Rhetoric about American interests in the Pacific Northwest included intermittent but intense international diplomatic conversations, presidential messages, congressional debates, editorial commentary in newspapers and other periodicals, and increasingly interested and opinionated cartographical literature. All these layers of discourse were linked by their focus on a geographical area and by geopolitical events centered on that area. That discourse contributed to a gradually developing image of an American dominion of continental proportions. Diplomats, congressmen, newspaper editors, and mapmakers were all involved in the development of that image but were not bound by similar conventions in the construction and communication of their visions. American commercial mapmakers of the period contributed to the development of a national consciousness of American expansion into the Pacific Northwest — a place still controlled by Native peoples — by both describing and interpreting national and international events.
During the second and third decades of the nineteenth century, the unique contributions of cartographers John Melish and Henry Schenck Tanner helped establish a national identity in ways that were visionary, influential, and powerful. Their maps contained information that was both geographical and geopolitical. In the Pacific Northwest, the main “new” features on updated editions of maps were often boundaries, legends, toponyms, and color codes that reflected the actions of non-Native diplomats and congressmen rather than explorers, topographers, and settlers. The maps graphically represented how American cartographers legitimized the expanding domain of one cultural group and, at the same time, delegitimized the sovereignty of both other imperial nations and Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest.
This detail of "A Map of Lewis and Clark’s Track Across the Western Portion of North America", published in 1814, was the most informative map of the Pacific Northwest at the time. Geopolitical events of the following decade resulted in John Melish and Henry Tanner drawing maps that promoted expansion of American sovereignty in the region, despite the presence of large populations of Native Americans. Both cartography and geopolitical rhetoric helped construct an image of a distinct place in the Pacific Northwest called “Oregon.”
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the United States, Great Britain, Spain, and Russia all claimed sovereignty to some portion of the Native-controlled lands of the Pacific Northwest. By the middle of the second decade, Americans claimed rights principally on the basis of three historical events: Robert Gray’s discovery and naming of the Columbia River in May 1792; the military sponsored Expedition of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark from 1804 to 1806; and the establishment of the private (but government sanctioned) fur trading enterprise at Astoria in 1811.
In the aftermath of the War of 1812, Anglo-American tensions increased regarding several issues, including contested areas of sovereignty in the Pacific Northwest. Still, American diplomatic activity regarding this region was restrained, and there was almost no physical presence of American military or commercial enterprise. Following the Treaty of Ghent in December 1814, formal restitution of Astoria from the British to the United States was delayed until August 1818.
The American government sanctioned maritime explorations to the Northwest coast in 1815 and 1816 but aborted them to more pressing needs for naval forces elsewhere.(4) Neither American nor British diplomats attempted treaty-making with any tribes of the region during this time.
In contrast, publisher John Melish, an established and influential mapmaker in Philadelphia, advocated a more overt and opinionated position of American sovereignty in the Pacific Northwest. In 1816, he published his Map of the United States with the contiguous British and Spanish possessions ...
Scholars have widely regarded this map as the first to portray the United States extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean.5 Indeed, in his accompanying Geographical Description, Melish stated: “The map . . . shows at a glance the whole extent of the United States territory from sea to sea.”6On the map, Melish extended the parallel of 49 degrees and 40 minutes across the Rocky Mountains to the Strait of Georgia as an extension of the “Northern Boundary of Louisiana” between American and British dominions.
Melish redrew the forty-ninth parallel boundary several different ways as he frequently revised the map’s copperplates from 1816 to 1822.

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Akademie von Wissenschaften. - Atlas Russicus.

The first complete printed atlas of Russia in stunning original colouring
ATLAS RUSSICUS mappa una generali et undeviginti specialibus vastissimum Imperium Russicum cum adiacentibus regionibus [repeated in French]. - St Peterburg, Akademie von Wissenschaften. 1745.

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The first complete printed atlas of russia. Jacques Nicolas Delisle, brother of Guillaume Delisle, was invited by Peter the Great to survey the vast empire of Imperial Russia. Initially accompanied by his step-brother Louis, in 1726 the two Parisians journeyed to Russia (now under the reign of Catherine I) to start their surveys.
At first Delisle also worked with Ivan Kirilov, with whom he co-founded the St Petersburg Academy of Sciences. However, the two men did not always see eye to eye, and Kirilov went on to produce an incomplete atlas which was published in 1734, before the French team had finished their surveys. Kirilov died in 1737, eight years before the eventual publication of Delisle's atlas.
The Atlas russicus is effectively in two parts: the first covering European Russia in 13 numbered maps (scale 1; 1.527.000), the second covering Siberia in six maps. scale (1: 3.360.000). On map 19 "Ostium fluvii Amur " the extreme point of Alaska and the Aleutian islands.
The Russian Academy of Sciences
The Russian Academy of Sciences was created in 1724 in St Petersburg. It was not only intended to coordinate and produce science but also to aid in solutions to practical problems. Many foreign scientists were invited to participate. Joseph Nicolas de l' Isle was invited to head the department of geography and came in 1726.
The making of the first atlas Russicus , not surprisingly considering the size of the country, took a long time. New bearings in trigonometry had to be taken all over the country. Existing cartographic material had to be obtained and analyzed. On his return to Paris in 1747, Delisle was able to construct his own observatory in the palace of Cluny, the same observatory later made famous by French astronomer Charles Messier.
Among the Russian scientists that worked on the atlas was Kirilow, the man who published the first map of Russia in 1734. The best known expedition that fed data into the Atlas Russicus was the great Northern Expedition (1735-1743) . Gmelin, Muller, Krshnininnikow, Krasilnikow and Steller were among its participants.
Except for reliable data printing facilities were needed. The Academies engraving shop was set up in 1728 with staff as Ellinger, Unversagt, Zubov and Rostovtsev. Eventually in September 1745 the atlas was printed in St Peterburg in Russian, Latin and German. "Send out to various governments.. the atlas met with great praise everywhere" (Bagrow).
ATLAS RUSSICUS mappa una generali et undeviginti specialibus vastissimum Imperium Russicum cum adiacentibus regionibus [repeated in French]. - St Peterburg, Akademie von Wissenschaften. 1745. Large folio (53x32 cm), letterpress title, 16pp. letterpress tables with parallel text in Latin and French, illustrated with 22 regional maps and folding general map (on 2 sheets),contemporary binding in full motted calf with gilt tooling on spine. 19 Maps are in extra ordinary rich contemporary colours, and coloured in full and must have been a presentation copy or made for a royalty. We have never seen this atlas in such delicate colouring. Some maps have some light discolouration or a reair in the center fold. The binding, paper, prints and maps are overall in excellent condition.
There are 13 numbered maps that cover European Russia (scale 1; 1.527.000). The other (last) 9 maps cover Asian Russia (Siberia, scale 1: 3.360.000) followed by an general map of Russia. This map only in out-line colour.

Reference :
Ralph E. Ehrenberg, "Mapping the World" (Washington D.C., 2006), 135; Phillips 3109.; Bagrow-Castner II, pp. 177-253; Goldenberg + Postnikov, Development of Mapping Methods in Russia in the 18th century, in IMAGO MUNDI XXXVII, 63-80; Nitsche-Stender 141; Lexikon der Kartographie 688; Teleki, Atlas zur Geschichte der Kartographie der japanischen Inseln pl. 17,1 (pl. 19 of the atlas); Niemeyer, Rußlands Aufbruch in die Moderne – Peter der Große und die Entwicklung der russischen Kartographie, Bonn 1991, 5 + illustrations.

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only 3 other copys known - state 2 of 4

A very rare 15 inch (39cm.) diameter celestial globe made up of two sets of twelve finely engraved and hand-coloured gores and two polar calottes (70°) laid to the ecliptic poles of a papier-maché and plaster sphere, the axis through the celestial poles, the equatorial graduated in individual degrees and labelled every 10°, the ecliptic graduated in individual days of the houses of the Zodiac, with sigils and labelled every ten days.

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Title below Cetus in a cartouche : Uranographia Caelum omne hic Complectens, Illa pro ut aucta et ad annum 1750 Completum MAGNO ab HEVELIO correcta est: ita, ejus ex Prototypis, sua noviter haec Ectypa veris Astronomiae culturibus exhibet et consecrat GER. Et LEON VALK; Amsterdaedamensis Cum Priviligio.

Rare state 2 (of 4). V.d.Krogt only mentions three other copies : The Rubenhuis in Antwerp, Museum Boerhaave, Leiden and Rijksmuseum Muiderslot, Muiden.

Giving the celestial globe its own name is a striking novelty by Valk, which was not imitated by others. “Uranographia” is the title of Johannes Hevelius 1687 celestial atlas, which was also the source for Valk’s celestial globes. By this Valk introduced a new graphic style of the constellations, by no longer using the ‘old-fashioned’ Saenredam style of Blaeu and Hondius globes. The engraving of the globe was done by the master engraver Carolus de La Haye, based on Andreas Stech’s design.

The date of the epoch is mentioned : ‘et ad annum 1700 Completum’.

The constellations finely depicted by mythical beasts and figures, a table entitled SUPER EMINET OMNES around a sun face showing the stars to six orders of magnitude, also with symbols for nebulae, all the stars picked out in gilt paint within the finely-engraved constellations depicted by mythical beasts and figures, the constellations and some individual stars labeled in Latin.

The later states have a minuscule piece of paper on which "50" has been printed is pasted over the date 1700 in the title cartouche to imply an updated globe. The change of date to 1750 did not necessarily occur in 1750, it is certain it occurred before 1763. In that year, the Utrecht van Renwoude Foundation bought a 15-inch globe pair from Valk’s widow. The celestial globe of the pair survived and is updated this way. The person who thought to change the date this way must have been Petrus Schenk II or his son, Petrus Schenk Jr. in whose house the globe factory was established after 1770.

The globe gores are very good and dark impression, with original handcolouring and stars gilted, with minor defects at various segment corners; a little soiled and darkened but in general very good. Rotating on a late 19th century wooden stand in black varnish.

The cartography of the gores on Valk's celestial globe, as stated in the cartouche, is based closely on the celestial atlas Uranographia, published in 1687 by the Polish astronomer Johannes Hevelius (1611-1687) who was notable for being the last great astronomer to conduct his work without the use of a telescope. Hevelius was also notable for designing his celestial maps with globes in mind, and as such they were easily transferred onto spheres.

Reference : v.d.Krogt, Globi Neerlandici, pp. 313-323, VAL III, state 4.
A rare celestial globe, V.d.Krogt only mentions three other copies (Sheepvaart Museum, Amsterdam 2x, Van de Vrij-Vrouwe van Renswoude Foundation, Utrecht)

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Hand colouring of antique maps

Many antique maps were hand-coloured, but some were intended not to be. The richness of early colouring is difficult to duplicate in the present. Maps with original colouring, called contemporary colour, are quite desirable to find; unfortunataly Modern colouring is these days more rule than the exeption. The disciminating collectors insist that a map should remain in its original state.

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Colouring varies with old maps. When they were produced some maps were fully coloured at the time, some were partly coloured, some were coloured in outline, and many not coloured at all.
Maps were originally coloured to enhance appearance and readability. Generally three or four colours (green, pink, orange and yellow) distinguished political subdivisions, black was used for names, red coloured cathedrals or other buildings distinguish large cities and blue stands for water.

1. Original Colour / Contemporary. When maps were coloured at or close to the time of production it is referred to as contemporary colour as it is contemporary to the printing of the map. We use the term "Original colour" in our catalogue.

2. Modern Colour. Often older maps issued without colour have colour added in whole or in part. Any colour added long after the map was issued is referred to as modern colour. Modern colour can be skillfully applied or less so but it usually is in outline and may or may not be historically correct. If it is skillfully applied and historically correct it is often difficult to distinguish from contemporary colour.

Paulus Swaen sets high standards and always tries to offer maps in contemporary colours. We are active in the map trade for 35 years and it takes long time experience to recognize original from modern colouring.
For each map we indicate if a map is in "original colour". If the colours are applied at a recent date we indicate "coloured". Our maps are sold with guarantee and a certificate of authenticity is supplied for each item. There is no time limit our guarantee.

3. Pros and Cons. Most collectors agree that contemporary full colour is best and that bad modern colour is undesirable but after that there is substantial lack of agreement. Many uncoloured maps are much more attractive with skillfully applied modern colour. A few collectors prefer maps only as originally issued. coloured or not but most dealers agree that skillful modern colour enhances interest and thus value of many maps. It is very much an individual matter.

Dare to go in Black
All early maps are printed in black and white and many were kept that way for ages. A black and white map in an early and strong impression is a rarity now-a-days.
There are some maps which were not intended to be coloured: the Italians thought that colouring obscured the detail and the quality of their engraved work.
The work by Sebastian Münster is very rarely found in contemporarily colours. In our 36 years of map dealing we have handled only one example of his atlas in original colours and is now in the Newberry Library in Chicago (Roger Baskes Atlas Collection).
Sebastian Münster maps in b/w are rare these days !!

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Harmonia macrocosmica seu Atlas universalis

Although little is known about the life of Andreas Cellarius (born around 1596 in Neuhausen, Germany), his work "Atlas Coelestis, seu Harmonia Macrocosmica" is well known among collectors of celestial maps for the sumptuous Baroque style of its 29 double plates. The first 21 constitute a historical survey of cosmological theories, illustrating the motions of the sun and planets according to Ptolemy, Copernicus and Tycho Brahe. The last eight plates are celestial hemispheres and hemispheres depicting the constellations; they are the most ornate of all, and their level of artistic detail has made these plates popular among collectors of fine art.
Andreas Cekllarius worked from 1625 to 1637 as a schoolmaster in Amsterdam and later The Hague, and in 1637 he moved to Hoorn, where he was appointed to be the rector of the Latin School.

The first of a projected two-volume set (the second volume never materialized), Cellarius’ atlas had its first printing in 1660 and went through two subsequent printings in 1661 and 1666.
The Amsterdam publishers Gerard Valk and Petrus Schenk, who purchased the original copper plates plates in 1694 and produced in 1708 a new edition of the Harmonia Macrocosmica, this time without the extensive Latin text that had accompanied the original printings.

Despite its continued popularity as an art object, the Harmonia Macrocosmica was panned on its first appearance by professional astronomers (including Cellarius’ countryman and contemporary Christiaan Huygens) for its scientific inaccuracies.
But more recent commentators have taken a more conciliatory view. Van Gent quotes the Swiss astronomer Rudolf Wolf, who in his 1877 book Geschichte der Astronomie suggests that, for all its failings, Cellarius’ atlas had merit by virtue of its all-encompassing scope:
For its peculiarity, the atlas by Andreas Cellarius, published in Amsterdam in 1708 under the title Harmonia macrocosmica seu Atlas universalis et novus, totius universi creati cosmographiam generalem et novam exhibens, deserves particular emphasis, for in it he attempts to depict not only the heavens but the entire structure of the world.
The Ptolemaic, Tychonic and Copernican systems are dealt with in 29 plates — the first is particularly detailed, with special concentration upon the theories of the Sun, the Moon, the upper and lower planets; the next two plates represent the Christian, the last six the heathen skies — naturally according to the taste of the period, so that in spite of the neatness of the drawing one can hardly see the stars for the figures.

The Harmonia Macrocosmica marks a high point in the artistic development of celestial maps, but it was based largely on existing work and contributed no new science. The perfection of the telescope would soon force artistic considerations to take a back seat to accuracy: Although the beauty of Cellarius’ atlas has rarely been surpassed, it was quickly superseded by homelier but more accurate maps. (text : Divine Sky: The Artistry of Astronomical Maps, University of Michigan)

The title page
was engraved Frederik Hendrik van den Hove (1628/29-1698). He was born in The Hague and worked in Antwerp, Amsterdam and London. As was pointed out by Ashworth (1985), Van den Hove’s design for the frontispiece of the Harmonia Macrocosmica and the choice of the depicted persons was largely based on the frontispiece of the Tabulae Motuum Coelestium Perpetuae of Philips Lansbergen (1561-1632), published in 1632 by Zacharias Roman in Middelburg (Zeeland).
The upper half represents the celestial vault with a radiant Sun, a crescent Moon, the stars and a portion of the zodiac with the signs of Virgo and Libra as observed by a pair of putti with cross staffs while another pair of putti uphold an emblem of the heliocentric world system and a banner with the book’s title.
The depicted persons in the lower half can be identified as follows: seated in the centre with an armillary sphere on her lap and a ruler, a mariner’s astrolabe and a quadrant at her feet is Urania, the muse of astronomy.
Seated on the left is the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) with a celestial globe and a pair of dividers in his right hand, and on the right the Polish astronomer Nicholas Copernicus (1473-1543) with a graphometer at his feet and pointing at an armillary sphere.
Standing in the background at the left is the Greek astronomer Claudius Ptolemy (fl. A.D. 150), pointing to a passage in an opened book (the Almagest). Standing to the right of Urania in the background is the Castilian king Alfonso el Sabio (‘the Wise’, 1221-1284), holding a model of the heliocentric(!) world system in his hands – an apparent error of the engraver as this properly belongs in the hands of Copernicus.
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Closing of the September Paulus Swaen map auction. Closing is at 6PM EST.
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Closing of the September Paulus Swaen map auction. Closing is at 6PM EST.
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