Planisphaerium Coeleste (double hemisphere celestial chart)

by Frederik de Wit

Rare map enhanced with gold


Date of first edition: ca. 1680

Date of this edition: ca. 1680

Dimensions (not including margins): 51 x 74 cm

Condition: Printed on two sheets and joined by publisher. Different verso repairs and reinforcements. Paper slightly age toned.

Colours, enhanced with gold. Choosing the right perspective, the map appears as brilliant as the stars and many other elements are coloured using gold!

Condition rating: A+




Item number:
Celestial maps
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Price (without VAT): 3 500,00 (FYI +/- $4 130,00 / £3 115,00)
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Frederik de Wit at his best

An exceptionally decorative, over sized, very rare celestial chart, produced by Frederik de Wit around 1680, and depicts the two hemispheres surrounded by six supplementary diagrams.

They illustrate the Copernican hypothesis, the Ptolemaic hypothesis, the Tycho Brahe hypothesis, the phases of the moon relative to the Sun, the rotational pattern of the day, and the rotation pattern of the Moon around the Earth. The map is further embellished by dark storm clouds and an elaborate title banner.

Each major hemisphere is centered on the elliptic pole and rendered on a polar stereographic projection with an external orientation. The constellations are in pictorial form with emphasis to the constellations associated with the Zodiac. Important stars and other astronomical and astrological features are delineated. The content and deportment of the constellations is clearly derived from the celestial hemispheres appearing as supplementary material on Joan Blaeu’s remarkable 1658 wall map of the world (Shirley 371).

De Wit published this as a separate issue: it was not officially part of any atlas, hence its extreme rarity. Occasionally it appeared into Allard’s 1705 ‘Atlas Major’, and Sanson’s ‘Atlas Nouveau’.
This map may have been issued in conjunction with Pierre Mortier. Note that the OCLC identifies only 3 institutional examples.

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