4to, pp. , 72, ‘82-478’ (i.e. 73-469), , [1 (blank)], without the double-page woodcut map after p. 72 (supplied in facsimile from the 1581 French edition); large woodcut globe to title-page, with woodcut volvelles (see below) and numerous woodcut illustrations and diagrams printed in-text, large woodcut initials throughout; first quire creased with a few insignificant chips to outer margins, very occasional light dampstaining, a little browned throughout, worming to inner margin of 3F-3N (touching a few characters, without loss of sense); contemporary calf with central arabesque blocked in blind, crudely rebacked and recornered in the nineteenth century.
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Cosmographia, sive Descriptio universi Orbis, Petri Apiani & Gemmae Frisij, Mathematicorum insignium, iam demum integritati suae restituta. Adiecti sunt alij, tum Gemmae Frisij, tum aliorum Auctorum eius argumenti tractatus ac Libelli varij, quorum seriem versa pagina demonstrat.
The expanded 1584 edition of Apianus’s highly important Cosmographia, printed by the most prolific printer of the work in Antwerp, with volvelles utilising waste from his press.
First printed in 1524 and greatly expanded by Gemma Frisius (1508–1555) from 1529, the Cosmographia is central to the study of mathematical geography. Verwithagen printed several editions of the Cosmographia, the earliest being the 1561 Dutch edition; he printed the second Spanish edition in 1575 and in 1574 published a Latin edition in collaboration with Cristophe Plantin. Three issues of the Cosmographia were printed at Antwerp in 1584, of which the present edition is the earliest and the scarcest; the accounts of the Americas by Gomara and Girava and Frisius’s account of Peru, first added to the 1575 Spanish edition, here appear in Latin for the first time.
1. ‘Quomodo altitudo Poli, seu latitudo terrae per organum speciale sit exploranda’ (p. 20), with two moving parts and printed rosette cover verso, refastened; for measuring the positions of the poles.
2. ‘Organum Theoricae Solis’ (p. 22), with string pointer only (as usual?); used to tell the time in hours equal to one twelfth of the period from sunrise to sunset (and therefore varying in length throughout the year).
3. ‘Organum praedictas Propositiones declarans’ (p. 25), with one moving part and rosette cover loosely inserted, no fastening.
4. Terrestrial astrolabe (p. 65), with four moving parts, short tears to one part, rosette cover detached but present, refastened.
5. Lunar clock (p. 189), lacking all parts.
Volvelles were frequently printed on reused sheets and often assembled in situ: ‘It is possible that many of the earliest examples of volvelle books had all their pieces cut out and attached correctly onto the appropriate leaves before the books were sold — this would ensure complex diagrams would work correctly and were not left to the (lack of) competence and understanding of the binder’ (Drennan, p. 320). This is likely the case here: the verso of a large moveable part on p. 65, for instance, contains text from Gemma Frisius’s L’arithmetique, printed two years earlier by Jan Verwithagen (1526-1587), the printer of the present volume; also present are segments of Pius V’s ‘Regnans in excelsis’, a condemnation of Elizabeth I first printed in 1570, though we have been unable to identify the edition.
A further one hundred woodcut illustrations accompany the text, among them three pages of woodcuts depicting predicted lunar eclipses for the years 1582 to 1603 (pp. 26-8).
1. Ink ownership inscription ‘Alexandri Capelli’ to title-page, with purchase price, dated 16 May 1604, deleted in ink.
2. Seventeenth-century pencil inscription to final blank ‘Sum Giullielmi Ronneri … codex pret. 5s.’, likely Wilhelm Ronner (fl. c. 1598-1605), a deacon in Klötze, Saxony-Anhalt; below are the lines ‘Quicquid erit, tandem mea spes est unica Christus’ (from the motet ‘Mors tua, mors Christi’) and ‘Quicquid erit, superanda omnis fortuna ferendo est’ (Aeneid V.710).
3. Nineteenth-century ink stamp of the theological seminary of St Patrick’s College Library, Maynooth to verso of title and to final pages.
Adams A-1285; Bibliotheca Belgica A-42; BM STC Dutch 12; Brunet I: 342; Houzeau & Lancaster I: 2392; Index Aureliensis 31; Lalande 115; Netherlandish Books 2422; Soltész A-437; USTC 402027; this issue not in Sabin or Wellcome (see 1750 and I: 346, respectively, for other Antwerp-printed editions of the same year). See Drennan, ‘The Bibliographical Description of astronomical Volvelles and other moveable Diagrams’ in The Library 13, no. 3 (2012), pp. 316-339.
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