A Pair of Celestial Maps, 1708.
Cellarius/ Valck & Schenk Celestials.
Valck & Schenk Amsterdam 1708
original copper engraved antique maps with original full colour in a dark wooden frame with some gold accents and corner decorations in cream coloured museums quality mount with golden slip. frame 71 x 79 cm, print 43 x 51 cm.
A most amazing pair of original coloured celestial maps by Andreas Celarrius (1596-1665) and published by Petrus Schenk and Gerad Valk, from 'Harmonia Macrocosmica seu Atlas Universalis et Novus' (Harmonious Universe or New and Universal Atlas) - the finest celestial atlas ever produced! - , published in Amsterdam, 1708.
The photos are not doing the maps any justice: the colours within the hemispheres are very vibrant and fresh, depicting the Zodiacs, whilst the area outside the circle is decorated with putti and windheads, coloured in off-green wash-colour.
Each map presents a view of the constellations of the Northern or Southern Sky superimposed over the North or South Pole. According to classical astronomy, championed by Aristotle and Ptolemy, the stars were mounted on a huge, transparent crystal sphere part of a divine system in which all of the stars and planets orbited the Earth.
The present images were originally engraved in 1660 by Jan Janssonius, during the greatest era of Dutch map-making, a period that saw the perfection of the art of representing scientific ideas in a graphic form using engravings. It was reprinted by Janssonius in 1661, and again in 1708 by Gerard Valk and Petrus Schenk, who added their names to the plates.
Schenk was born in Germany but settled in Amsterdam where he became a pupil of Valck, the engraver. In 1687, he married Valck’s daughter and thereafter, both families were active over a long period of time with a wide range of interests as print sellers, publishers of books, maps, topographical and architectural drawings and globe makers. Their work was finely presented and demonstrates the precision and elegance associated with maps and engravings produced during this period.
Andreas Cellarius was born in about 1596 in Neuhausen, a small town near Worms in the Rhine-Hesse region of Germany. From 1625 to 1637 Cellarius worked as a schoolmaster in Amsterdam and The Hague, and in 1637 moved to Hoorn, where he was appointed as headmaster or rector of the Latin School. He published a number of works during his lifetime, but the last and greatest was the Harmonia Macrocosmica. Cellarius resigned from his post as headmaster in early 1665 and died in Hoorn in November of the same year.
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