Uranographia; sive Astrorum Descriptio viginti tabulus tabulis oeneis incisa ex recentissimis et absolutissimis Astronomorum observationibus.

"The Most Extensive and Last Great Atlas of its Kind"
"A Work of Superlatives"

BODE, Johann Ehlert. Uranographia sive Astrorum Descriptio viginti tabulis oeneis incisa ex recentissimis et absolutissimis Astronomorum observationibus. Berolini [Berlin]: Apud autorem [Bode], 1801.

First edition. Elephant folio. iv (introduction and star index), double-page engraved title page, and twenty numbered double-page plates, as called for.

Contemporary half calf gilt with marbled boards, some wear.

A fine example of the largest star atlas ever produced, the apogee of artistic representation of the constellations, yet still maintaining scientific accuracy, showing the positions of more than 17,000 stars (virtually all the stars visible to the naked eye) and more than 2500 nebulae as catalogued by William Herschel.

"If the Golden Age of the Celestial Atlas began with Bayer's Uranometria, it ended almost exactly two centuries later, with Bode's Uranographia. In size, this is the largest star atlas that has ever been published. The positions of more than 17,000 stars are given, as well as just about every constellation ever invented" (Linda Hall Library).

"By any standard, a work of superlatives" (Kanas, Star Maps: History, Artistry, and Cartography. p. 183).

"The most extensive and last great atlas of its kind" (Warner).

The atlas contains two celestial hemispheres and eighteen sheets that join together to make a detailed wall map of the skies. Bode, despite a childhood disease that affected his eyesight, became director of the Berlin Observatory and Prussian Royal Astronomer. He suggested the name of Uranus for the planet discovered by Hershel.

Originally published with a companion volume (catalog of charts), it is now scarcely found so. Only one complete copy, text & atlas volumes, has come to auction since 1923, at Sotheby's in 1997. Of the five incomplete copies (atlas volume only) that have come to auction within the last thirty-seven years, each had condition issues (disbound, worn, soiled, lacking maps). OCLC and KVK record only a couple of complete copies in library holdings worldwide. The atlas is rare; the text volume is well nigh unobtainable.

Warner 7. Item #02017

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