9. SCHOENER, Johann (1477-1547). Luculentissima quaeda[m] terrae totius descriptio: cu[m] multis utilissimis Cosmographiae iniciis. [A very clear description of the whole earth, with many useful cosmographic elements]. Nuremberg: Johann Stuchs, 1515. Small 4to (210 x 150 mm). 86 ff., , 65 ff., with printed errata slip inserted between ff. b5 and b6; 6 pp. of Latin ms. added at end. Full-page woodcut coat of arms of the Bishop of Bamberg on title verso, near-full-page text woodcuts of Schoener's famous globe of 1515 (f.A1r), of the armillary sphere (fol.19v), and of a circular world map (fol.31r); numerous large woodcut initials, some with historiation, portion of 15th c. rubricated manuscript on vellum used as binder's waste at end. Contemporary limp vellum, manuscript title to spine, contained in a cloth box. Condition: creased at head with margins shaved affecting small area of the banner of Schoener's globe, small wormholes starting at f.43r and ending at rear endpapers, few minimal stains, front endpapers slightly tattered at fore-edge; vellum lightly soiled, spine somewhat cracked. Provenance: marginal annotations and a six- page manuscript text (at end) in contemporary hand; 17th century manuscript note at upper margin of title and annotation in dedication.
Acquisition: purchased from H. P. Kraus, cat. 185, 1990 (but 1998) item 20, $33,750.
the earliest major treatise on the globe and its manufacture, by the pioneer of globe-making in Europe; taking forward Waldseemullers concepts in 1507 of the world in spherical (globe) form; this, the only edition is complete with the original errata slip. An essential source book for the early production of globes, the work was issued to publicise and create interest in Schoener's first globe of 1515, the title of the globe being identical to this work.
Schoener's first woodcut globe was printed in 1515, and is illustrated on A1r and f.16r in this present copy. It is of primary importance to the text. The supplemental treatise is divided into two parts: the first, in twelve chapters, on the theory and geometry of globes, and the second, in eleven chapters, giving a new and illuminating geographical description of the world. Schoener refers to the continent of America by its newly instituted name, thus drawing reference from the Waldseemüller’s map of 1507; Schoener based in Bamberg, was a close follower of Waldessmuller and may have studied with him at St Die. A poem by Johannes Stabius is printed on leaf aiii, a notable mathematician and astronomer. He authored, along with Conrad Heinfogel, the star charts issued by Dürer in this same year of 1515. Another poem by Joannes Hiltner on the last leaf gives a description of a Schoener celestial globe. It's association with this volume and of the date 1515 make it feasible that the 1517 celestial globe of Schoener was a spherical rendering of the aforementioned star charts.
There are six pages of contemporary manuscript, on the final endapers, under the title “Easy and comprehensive method introducing into the description of geography a technique of measuring the earth”. The colophon calls the work De***fabrica globi and ascribes it to one “Hermannus”, a contemporary of the scribe. The scribe then adds that Hermannus has written about a globe he is going to give to the scribe, “which will be worth more than good Florentine gold”. The text cites Ptolemy, Macrobius, and Theodosius, and devotes much space to the inconsistent values of miles and stadia in Europe.The last paragraph reads (in translation): “There are also other unknown places. Moreover there are new lands recently discovered, many of which are islands recently reported, which were before unknown, about which see Amerigo Vespucci”.
These notes are particularly interesting since at this period Schoener was experimenting with his manufacture of globes. In 1515 he made a woodcut terrestrial globe, diameter 28cm (one example, heavily painted, survives), a celestial (now lost), followed in 1517, a manuscript globe (diameter 87cm) was made in 1520, followed by an woodcut terrestrial globe in 1523 (with Magellans new discoveries) and a pair of globes, celestial and terrestrial, in 1534/35. Apart from Behaim's manuscript globe of 1492 and the 4 surviving copies of the woodcut gore sheets of Waldseemuller's pocket globe, 1507, the 4 Schoener woodcut globes that survive are the oldest 'manufactured' western globes. Schoener owned the the only surviving examples of the 1507 Waldseemuller wallmap and the Carta Marina of 1516, both now in the Library of Congress. Originally these two maps and sample sheets of his globe gores were bound in a codex found in the library of Castle Wolfegg in Wurttemberg, Germany. Waldseemuller's geography was the source for Schoener's terrestrial globes.
The importance of this work by its dissemination of geographical information through the concept of the spherical world, in the Renaissance period, cannot be underestimated; this manual is one of the primary sources of the development of that knowledge.
An absolute rarity, only one copy (Sotheby's London, June 1988) has appeared at auction in the last 30 years.
Stevens-Coote, Schoener, no. 1; Alden & Landis 515/16; Sabin 77804; Harrisse 80; JCB I, 63; Church 37; Borba de Moraes II, 781; Adams S-682; Nordenskiöld, Facsimile Atlas, p. 77; Stevenson I, 82--88; World Encompassed 73; Van der Krogt Globi Neerlandici, pp30-33.
est. $20000 – £30000