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Double Hemisphere map of the surface of the moon

Double Hemisphere map of the surface of the moon
Double Hemisphere map of the surface of the moon

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EARLY 18TH C. DOUBLE HEMISPHERE MAP OF THE MOON. DOPPELMAYR, J. G. - HOMANN, J. B. Tabula Selenographica in qua Lunarium Macularum exacta Descriptio secundum Nomenclaturam Praestantissimorum Astronomorum tam Hevelii quam Riccioli... Nürnberg, 1742.
Hand-coloured engraved double hemisphere map of the surface of the moon decorated at top with cherubs using a telescope and Diana, the goddess of the moon. C. 490 x 580 mm. Centrefold as published, wormholes to centrefold (to text part and a smaller in the middle). Framed.

Not examined out of frame.

Provenance: Collection Torbjörn Lindell, Landskrona, Sweden.

Interesting and decorative double hemisphere map of the moon based upon the models of Johannes Hevelius (the left) and Giovanni Battista Riccioli (the right) published by J.B. Homann in Nuremberg in 1742.
Both spheres depict the same side of the moon and are filled with topography, using place names following the nomenclature of Riccioli (names of famous people and scientists) and Hevelius (geographical names of place on the earth). Between the two spheres is a scheme of the phases of the moon and different lunar phases are represented in the four corners. The map is decorated at top with cherubs using a telescope and Diana, the goddess of the moon. Text panels at bottom.
It displayed for the first time the complexity of the moon's topography, although it perpetuated certain myths such as the existence of lunar seas. Few of the place-names proposed by Hevelius became permanent, indeed one of the most striking aspects of his maps is the elaborate analogy he built up between the topography of the moon and that of the earth, with the Mediterranean, North Africa and Asia Minor dominating the moon's visible face. (If you turn the map 90 degrees counter-clockwise and examine the sphere on the left, notice that the shaded area dominating the lower center of the sphere resembles the Mediterranean Sea. Hevelius named the landform in the middle of this region Sicilia and the crater in its center M. Aetna.) For some 140 years, the two systems of lunar cartography competed with each other. Although Hevelius' system was influential, the cumbersome Latin names gave way to the easier to remember and more popular system devised by Riccioli - the system that left the possibility for scientists to someday have a lunar feature named for them.

The map first appeared in 1707 in Johann Baptist Homann´s Neuer Atlas, then again in 1742 as plate no. 11 in Doppelmayr´s important Atlas Coelestis. Because both were published by Homann´s Nuremburg firm, there is literally no discernible difference between the two publications.

The lunar map on the left, composed by Hevelius is considered a foundational map in the science of Selenography - or lunar cartography. This map first appeared in Heveliu´ 1647 work Selenographia, [a work which] laid the groundwork for most subsequent lunar cartographic studies. Here the moon is presented as it can never be seen from Earth, at greater than 360 degrees and with all visible features given equal weight. In this map Hevelius also establishes the convention of mapping the lunar surface as if illuminated from a single source - in this case morning light. The naming conventions he set forth, which associate lunar features with terrestrial locations such as ´Asia Minor´, ´Persia´, and ´Sicilia´, were popular until the middle of the 18th century when Riccioli´s nomenclature took precedence.

"The Riccioli map, on the right, is more properly known as the Riccioli-Grimaldi map, for fellow Jesuit Francesco Grimaldi with whom Riccioli composed the chart. This map first appeared in Riccioli and Grimaldi´s 1651 Almagestum Novum. This was a significant lunar chart and offered an entirely new nomenclature which, for the most part, is still in use today. Curiously, though Riccioli, as a devout Jesuit, composed several treatises denouncing Copernican theory, he chose to name one of the Moon´s most notable features after the astronomer - perhaps suggesting that he was a secret Copernicus sympathizer? Other well-known lunar features named by Riccioli include the Sea of Tranquility where Apollo 11 landed and where Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the moon´s surface.

Johannes Hevelius (1611-1687), Polish politician (mayor), brewer, and astronomer, Johann Gabriel Doppelmayr (1677-1750), German mathematician and astronomer, Giovanni Battista Riccioli (1598-1671), Italian Jesuit priest and astronomer and Johann Baptist Homann (1664-1724), a German geographer and cartographer who in 1702 founded the publishing house which published the 1707 map.