Dec 09 at 10:30 AM - Sale 2591 -

Sale 2591 - Lot 43

Estimate: $ 300 - $ 400
(CELESTIAL -- MOON MAIDEN.) Giovanni Brun; after Giovanni Domenico Cassini. [Lunar map broadside]. Aquatint and engraved map of the moon's surface on a sheet with two columns of letterpress describing Cassini's rare 1679 lunar chart and several newer discoveries by late-eighteenth century astronomers. 17 1/2x23 inches sheet size, wide margins with deckle edges; old folds, foxing. [Rome?, circa 1787]

Additional Details

Cassini's large-scale map of the moon printed in 1679 was an influential scientific phenomenon. Even at the time of its publication copies were scarce and the copper printing plate was presumed lost for over 100 years. In 1787 Cassini's heirs discovered the plate in the archives of the Imprimerie Royale and a new edition was struck; and along with it, a certain renewed interest to the greater public and scientific community.

The present Italian broadside is a piggyback on that re-kindled awareness of lunar cartography; Giovanni Brun reproduces the layout of the original with general faithfulness but gives us a greatly reduced model with topographical nomenclature added. One playful detail that is repeated from the original is a subtly hidden head of a woman peering out from the Promontorium Heraclides at lower right, a feature quasi-famously known as Cassini's "Moon Maiden".