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The most important early chart depicting the surface of the moon, based upon the models of Johannes Hevelius and Giovanni Battista Riccioli.

The moon is depicted using the device of two spheres and the printed chart provide a comparative analysis of the topographical information and nomenclature of Riccioli and Hevelius. Between the two spheres is a model showing the phases of the moon, with the different lunar phases represented in the four corners of the image. The map is further embellished with cherubs using a telescope and Diana, the lady of the moon.

Johannes Hevelius was a brewer from Gdansk. He published his Selenographia, the first treatise devoted entirely to the moon. As well as being a brewer, Hevelius was also a remarkable man of science, who made his own lenses, constructed his own telescopes, observed the Moon on every clear night for several years, drew his observations, engraved them himself, and had the wealth to publish a sumptuous book at his own expense which incorporated three charts. It included a composite map of all lunar features illuminated (impossibly) from the same side. It is this map that was to be used by astronomers during lunar eclipses. Hevelius also suggested a system of nomenclature based on earthly features.

Hevelius founded the science of selenography (after Selene, the goddess of the Moon) and showed astronomers how to represent heavenly bodies. He instituted the practice of showing the entire lunar surface visible from the Earth. His nomenclature, was used in Protestant countries until the eighteenth century but was replaced by the system published in 1651 by the Jesuit astronomer Giovanni Battista Riccioli, who gave the large naked-eye spots the names of seas (Sea of Tranquillity, Sea of Storm, etc.) and the telescopic spots (now called craters), the names of philosophers and astronomers. Riccioli first published his map of the moon in Almagestum nouum in Bologna in 1651. The Riccioli moon map is historically of great importance, as it provides the basis for the system of lunar nomenclature still in use. It is more properly referred to as the Riccioli/Grimaldi map, since the Jesuit optician Francesco Grimaldi was apparently responsible for the map itself, while fellow Jesuit Riccioli invented the names (and wrote the book in which the map appeared). Thus the Sea of Tranquility (Mare Tranquillitatis) traversed by the Apollo astronauts acquired its name here, as Mare Tranquillitatis, as did such prominent lunar craters as Plato, Ptolemaeus, and Tycho.

The chart is a compilation of Helvelius and Riccioli charts.

The cartographer Johann Baptist Homann, (1663-1724) was a mapmaker who founded the famous Homann Heirs publishing company. He lived his entire life in Bavaria, particularly in Nuremberg. Initially, Johann trained to become a priest before converting to Protestantism and working as a notary.

In 1702, Johann founded a publishing house that specialized in engravings. The firm flourished, becoming the leading map publisher in Germany and an important entity in the European map market. He was named Imperial Geographer to the Holy Roman Empire by Charles VI and made a member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences.

Hand coloured.

Copperplate engraving.

585 x 490mm. (Plateline.)

First published in 1707, this is certainly a later impression due to the obvious plate wear in the top left-hand corner.

Generally good condition.

TABULA SELENOGRAPHICA [Moon surface chart].1707.

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