Lot 4001
First Edition of Piccolomini's De La Sfera del Mondo (The Sphere of the World)
Lot Details & Additional Photographs
[Alessandro Piccolomini]. DE LA SFERA DEL MONDO. LIBRI QUATTRO IN LINGUA TOSCANA...[bound with] DELE STELLE FISSE. Venice: Giovanantonio & Dominico fratelli de Volpini da Castelgiufredo, Ad instantia de Andrea Arivabeno, 1540. First edition. Hardcover. Quarter bound mottled calf over paper (imitation tree calf), with orange label and gilt lettering and patterns on spine, all edges red speckle-stained. 4to; +4 p4 A-N4; A-G4 H2 I-P4 T4 (instead of Q) R-Z4 Aa-Ii4 Kk2; [8], 176 [i.e. 177], [3] (several pages mis-numbered). Italic type; text in Italian. With woodcut device on title page; numerous diagrams, illustrations, and tables, and 47 full-page star maps. EDIT16 29469; Houzeau and Lancaster 2491.

7 7/8 x 6 in.

From the Collection of Professor Roberto Severino, Washington, D.C.

The Sienese astronomer Alessandro Piccolomini (1508-1578) applied the Ptolemaic model (with Earth at center) in his The Sphere of the World. This first edition of this work also includes the first star atlas printed in the West, De le Stelle Fisse (The Fixed Stars), which includes 47 star maps in which Piccolomini considered important aspects such as scale and brightness, and labeled the stars for the first time with letters.

Boards with light edgewear, corners and leather rubbed; pages with light toning and staining, minimal foxing; head closely trimmed not impacting text; slight separation from textblock and at hinges, binding still sturdy; first and last leaf repaired/extended, small wormholes in title page, several tiny chips or losses. A very good copy of this significant contribution to the field of astronomy.