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  • Ptolemy's Cosmographia to make $647,500 at map auction?
  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • CosmographiamakePtolemy'sto

Ptolemy's Cosmographia to make $647,500 at map auction?

A rare 1482 edition of Ptolemy's Cosmographia could make £350,000-400,000 ($566,580-647,520) at Sotheby's Travel, Atlases, Maps and Natural History sale in London on November 4.

The lot is one of the most complex printed atlases of its era, comprised of maps from a variety of sources.

Ptolemy atlas cosmographia
Ptolemy (circa AD 90-168) was a Greek astronomer, geographer and poet

It was named after Ptolemy as it used coordinates from his Geographica, which was only translated into Latin in 1407 - meaning that many of his ideas were entirely new to mapmakers.

Countries shown include Spain, Italy, France and Palestine. A series of 16th century annotations towards the back mention the discovery of America.

Benedictine monk Nicolaus Germanus was responsible for compiling the first copy, which was presented to Pope Paul II in the 1460s and 1470s. 

A first edition copy of Mark Catesby's The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands is valued at £120,000-180,000 ($192,529-288,794).

Catesby (1682-1749) was a celebrated British naturalist who travelled extensively in the southern states of the US during the 18th century.

His book was published as a subscription from 1731-1743 and details the plant and animal life of the region in 220 hand-engraved plates.

A first edition copy of George Catlin's North American Indian Portfolio (1844) is likely to prove another highlight, with an estimate of £50,000-70,000 ($80,940-113,316).

Another first edition realised $116,700 at Ketterer Kunst in Hamburg, Germany in 2011.  

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  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • CosmographiamakePtolemy'sto