1742 Doppelmayr Map of the Constellations Leo and Virgo

Globi Coelestis in Tabulas Planas Redacti Pars IV.

1742 Doppelmayr Map of the Constellations Leo and Virgo


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Globi Coelestis in Tabulas Planas Redacti Pars IV.
  1742 (undated)    19.5 x 23 in (49.53 x 58.42 cm)


Published by J. B. Homann, this is a very nice example of DoppelmayerÂ's map of the constellations. Focuses on the Zodiac constellations of Leo and Virgo, though Bootes, Ursa Major, Chara, Hydra, Libra, and others and also visible. Each constellation is stunningly illustrated in 18th century German baroque style. Text toe the left and right of the map proper offers coordinates for the individual stars in each constellations which are identified via an alpha-numeric code. Issued as plate no. 20 in the 1742 edition of DoppelmayerÂ's Atlas Coelestis.


Johann Gabriel Doppelmayr (September 27, 1677 - December 1, 1750) was a German mathematician and astronomer active in the first half of the 18th century. Doppelmayr was born in Nuremberg to a merchant family. He attended the Aegidien-Gymnasium and the University of Altdorf where he studied mathematics, physics, and law. His graduating dissertation, a study of the Sun, suggests an early interest in Astronomy. Following his studies in Altdorf, Doppelmayr traveled extensively in Europe and is known to have spent time at the University of Halle, as well as in Utrecht, Leiden, Oxford, and London. He returned to Nuremburg in 1704 to take up a mathematics professorship at his alma mater, the Aegidien-Gymnasium. It may have been here that he developed a relationship with the prominent Nuremburg map publisher J. B. Homann, with whom he prepared a number of important astronomical maps and atlases. The collaboration of over 20 years eventually led to the publication of the Atlas Coelestis in 1742. This astounding work was the most elaborate and detailed astronomical atlas yet published and is today much admired for its rich beautifully engraved plates. Doppelmayr died on 1 December 1750 in Nuremberg, and many later sources claim that his death was caused by the fatal effects of a powerful electrical shock which he had received shortly before while experimenting with a battery of electric capacitors. Other sources, however, suggest that Doppelmayr's electrical experiments were performed several years earlier and were not the cause of his death. Today the Lunar crater Doppelmayr and a minor planetoid are named in his honor.

Johann Baptist Homann (March 20, 1664 - July 1, 1724) was the most prominent and prolific map publisher of the 18th century. Homann was born in Oberkammlach, a small town near Kammlach, Bavaria, Germany. As a young man Homann studied in a Jesuit school and nursed ambitions of becoming a Dominican priest before converting to Protestantism in 1687. Following his conversion, Homann moved to Nuremberg and found employment as a notary. Around 1693 Homan briefly relocated to Vienna, where he lived and studied printing and copper plate engraving until 1695. Afterwards he returned to Nuremberg where, in 1702, he founded the commercial publishing firm that would bear his name. In the next five years Homann produced hundreds of maps and developed a distinctive style characterized by heavy detailed engraving, elaborate allegorical cartouche work, and vivid hand color. The Homann firm, due to the lower cost of printing in Germany, was able to undercut the dominant French and Dutch publishing houses while matching the diversity and quality of their output. By 1715 Homann's rising star caught the attention of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles the VI, who appointed him Imperial Cartographer. In the same year he was also appointed a member of the Royal Academy of Sciences in Berlin. Homann's prestigious title came with a number of important advantages including access to the most up to date cartographic information as well as the "Privilege". The Privilege was a type of early copyright offered to a few individuals by the Holy Roman Emperor. Though not as sophisticated as modern copyright legislation, the Privilege did offer a kind of limited protection for several years. Most all J. B. Homann maps printed between 1715 and 1730 bear the inscription "Cum Priviligio" or some variation. Following Homann's death in 1726, the management of the firm passed to his son Johann Christoph Homann (1703 - 1730). J. C. Homann, perhaps realizing that he would not long survive his father, stipulated in his will that the company would be inherited by his two head managers, Johann Georg Ebersberger and Johann Michael Franz, and that it would publish only under the name Homann Heirs. This designation, in various forms (Homannsche Heirs, Heritiers de Homann, Lat Homannianos Herod, Homannschen Erben, etc..) appears on maps from about 1731 onwards. The firm continued to publish maps in ever diminishing quantities until the death of its last owner, Christoph Franz Fembo in 1848.


Doppelmayr, J. G., Atlas Coelestis, (Homann: Nuremburg) 1742.    


Good condition. In addition to the original centerfold this map also exhibits an intersecting horizontal fold. Verso suggests that it was previously mounted for framing. Else clean.