Augsburg: Merz & Mayr, 1731.
2nd Edition. Hardcover. Oblong 4to. Very Good. Item #003179
Oblong 4to (152 x 208 mm). , 212 pp., including engraved frontispiece by Aug. C. Fleischmann, title printed in red and black, woodcut initials, large folding table, engraved plate bound after p.92, engraved text illustration, and 82 (10 folding) engraved plates, mostly of constellations, bound at end. Signatures: )(4, A-Z4, Aa-Cc4, Dd2. Bound in contemporary original full vellum, faint hand-lettering to spine (vellum soiled and spotted). Text and plates with light even browning, minor occasional spotting, 2 plates with light dampstaining, fold of table with old paper reinforcement. Provenance: G.A.J. Müller (signature in pencil to one plate and text page). A very good copy in untouched binding. Collated complete. ----
Warner, Sky explored 251; Honeyman 2975 (uncoloured); Houzeau-Lancaster 9748; Poggendorff II, 1096. For Augsburg 1731 edition see Wurzbach XLIV, 252; Lalande 392 and Zinner, Astronom. Instrumente 535. FIRST EDITION, Augsburg issue, and much rarer than the Frankfurt & Leipzig issue of the year before, which differ only in the title-page and the subsequent 3 preliminary leaves. The main text is identical in setting and signatures. Of the 12 recorded copies that have sold at auction in the past 50 years only one is of this Augsburg issue. The plates show celestial globes, a moon map (after Hevelius), a map of Salzburg and the constellations in their zodiac signs, which are apparently inspired by those in Hevelius' Firmamentum Sobiescanum of 1690. The big folding table at the beginning is the tabula synoptica. Benedictine Corbinian THOMAS, who came from Elchingen in Bavaria, was a professor at the University of Salzburg from 1720 to 1767, where he teached mathematics and astronomy from 1721. Beside hermeneutics and exegesis, he taught Hebrew language at the theological faculty. His best known work is the Firmamentum Firmianum first published 1730 in Frankfurt and Leipzig, a sky atlas with 86 (i.e. 84) copperplate engravings, dedicated to the Salzburg Prince-Archbishop Leopold von Firmian. In honor to the prince, he renamed the constellation of the northern crown in Corona Firmiana and added two deer antlers - the coat of arms of the Firmian - to the crown. Thomas regarded himself in the tradition of older astronomers, such as Johann Hevelius, who set the constellation of the shield (Scutum Sobiesci) into sky late in the 17th century. It was intended to commemorate the liberation of Vienna from the Turkish siege in 1683, referring to the shield of the Polish King John III. Sobieski (cf. Beatrix Koll, University Library of Salzburg). - Visit our website for additional images and information.
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