The Harmonia Macrocosmica of Andreas Cellarius

An Inventory of Known Copies in Public Libraries and Collections

The Harmonia Macrocosmica (1660, 1661, c. 1680 or later, 1708) of the Dutch-German mathematician and cosmographer Andreas Cellarius (c. 1596 - 1665) is perhaps one of the best-known cosmographical atlases that was published in the second half of the seventeenth century.

Its colourful and aesthetically appealing double-folio plates of the Ptolemaic, the Copernican and the Tychonic world systems, supplemented with numerous other cosmographical plates and star maps, have often been reproduced in the last few decades as illustrations in books and articles, posters, postcard sets, calendars, jigsaw puzzles and even as novelty wrapping paper. Nowadays, the original plates can only be afforded by those who are willing to pay the astronomical prices that they command.

The following list presents an inventory of all known more or less complete copies of the Harmonia Macrocosmica in public libraries and collections. The copies in Dutch collections are based on my own research, while those outside of the Netherlands are based on Giovanna Grassi’s Union Catalogue of Printed Books of 15th, 16th and 17th Centuries in European Astronomical Observatories (1989), Peter van der Krogt’s new edition of Koeman’s Atlantes Neerlandici, vol. 1 (1997), and the help of numerous people who have sent me information on previously unrecorded copies.

Edition of 1660 by Johannes Janssonius (Amsterdam) - plates and text

Edition of 1661 by Johannes Janssonius (Amsterdam) – plates and text

Edition of c. 1680 (or later) by the heirs of Janssonius (Amsterdam) – Volume 5 of the five-volume edition of the Novus Atlas sive Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (plates only)

Edition of 1708 by Gerard Valk & Petrus Schenk (Amsterdam) – plates only

I would be most grateful to learn of any other copies in public libraries or collections that I can add to this list. I am also very much interested in anecdotal information on any of the copies listed above, such as previous owners and which prices they fetched in the past as they can help in assessing its readership and influence in the past.

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