PTOLEMAEUS, Claudius (after 83 - ca 168 AD). Geographie opus nouissima traductione e Grecorum archetypis castigatissime pressum. Strassburg: Johann Schott 1513.

$ 850,000.00

Folio (17 4/8 x 12 4/8 inches). 47 woodcut maps by Martin Waldseemüller (all but 2 double-page), including "Tabula terre nove" THE FIRST MAP IN AN ATLAS ENTIRELY DEVOTED TO AMERICA, the last map ("Lotharingia") printed in colors, 4 woodcut diagrams in text, one large woodcut of an armillary sphere on K1 (without the final blank leaf, some minor marginal dampstaining and thumbing, some leaves skillfully repaired). Contemporary blind-stamped paneled calf over wooden boards, each cover decorated in two panels with broad fillets of heads in medallion rolls, small floral and convolvulus leaves, and stamped with initials T C T A, remains of two pairs of silk ties (recently and expertly conserved by James and Stuart Brockman Ltd, full report available on request); modern cloth clamshell box.

Provenance: Contemporary blind-stamped initials T.C.T.A. on covers of binding; near contemporary signature of Sir Jo[hn] Bourne (ca 1518-1575), Secretary of State and Privy Councilor under Queen Mary 1st on title-page; contemporary marginal annotations; bookplate of York Minster on front paste-down, private sale to; A.S.W. Rosenbach, Philadelphia and New York ca 1933, sold to; Thomas Winthrop Streeter (1883-1965), with his bookplate on the front paste-down, sold at; Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, 25 October 1966, lot 6 for $6,500 to; Charles W. Traylen, Guildford, Surrey, for Christopher Henry Beaumont Pease, Lord Wardington (1924-2005), Library of Important Atlases and Geographies.


The first modern atlas, prepared by Martin Waldseemuller using the translation of Mathias Ringmann. This is one of the most important editions of Ptolemy, containing many new regional maps: twenty new maps based on contemporary knowledge "unlike many of the alleged 'new' maps produced by earlier editors, [they] contained a great deal of new information, and in nearly every case they were decided improvements over anything that had been previously offered..." ("The World Encompassed", 56), were included in addition to the traditional body of twenty-seven Ptolemaic maps derived from the 1482 Ulm edition (or possibly from the manuscript atlas of Nicolaus Germanus that served as source for the latter).

Schott's edition while initiated by the most famous of all early sixteenth-century cosmographers, Martin Waldseemuller and his associate Mathias Ringmann, partly at the expense of Duke Rene of Lorraine, was brought to completion by Jacobus Eszler and Georgius Ubelin. The atlas contains the first map in an atlas entirely devoted to America ("Tabula terre nove"), often called the "Admiral's map" after Columbus. The map of Lotharingia (the first map of the Duchy of Lorrain), printed in black, red and olive, is one the earliest examples of color-printing. This edition was reprinted in 1520 using the same woodcut blocks.

From the distinguished library of Sir John Bourne, who was one of Mary I's principal secretaries of state, privy councillor, and a prominent member of the Worcester gentry. A fervent catholic he "strove to frustrate the settlement of the new religion in his region and, without success, to rally his coreligionists to resistance and, perhaps, to rebellion" (Hill). Son of one Walter Bourne of Wick, Bourne left Worcestershire for London, a spell at Lincoln's Inn, and then as a clerk in the household of William Fitzwilliam, Earl of Southampton, Lord Privy Seal after Cromwell's fall. His duties included signing a number of privy seal warrants on behalf of his master. On Southampton's death in 1542 Bourne returned to Worcester and became active in local politics and affairs. On the death of Edward VI Bourne became one of Queen Mary's earliest and closest advisors, and is recorded as being a member of her first council at Framlingham Castle in Suffolk. He helped organise her escape from Hunsdon in Hertfordshire in early July of 1542. He was knighted by the Earl of Arundel the day after Mary's coronation. Bourne acquired considerable property holdings in Worcester from the earliest days of the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII, and continued to build his portfolio with grants gained during Queen Mary's reign. By 1558 he was enormously successful, having been rewarded by his Queen with wealth, power and opportunity, and shortly before her death he retired to his county to enjoy them.

Also from the library of Thomas Winthrop Streeter, whose collection sold at auction in 1966, and "surpasses all other American private libraries" (Wroth "Introduction" to "The Street Collection" sale catalogue), and Lord Wardington, whose collection of Atlases was unique: "a panoply of the history of cartography and of great mapmakers" (Andrew Phillips "An Appreciation", Sotheby's sale catalogue). Fairfax Murray "German" 348 and 348A; Harrisse 74; Phillips 359; Sabin 66478; Shirley 34. Hill. The Marian "Experience of Defeat": the Case of Sir John Bourne". Catalogued by Kate Hunter