This beautifully produced exhibition catalog begins with some introductory material about the Staatsbibliothek collection. Following this are illustrations of 100 selected maps and globes from the collection. Gathered at the end are essays by various authors describing the items. The reproductions are in color when appropriate. The black-and-white figures are unscreened, resulting in a sharpness seldom seen in map books. Included are some familiar maps as well as others probably never reproduced before. We see world maps by Duerer, Plancius and de Fer, sea charts by Waghenaer and van Keulen, the de Jode Europe of 1584 on 6 plates, manuscript maps from the orient, the 1559 Gastaldi Germany, beautiful manuscript battle plans, the Heinrich Zell 1533 woodcut map of Europe, a beautiful Venetian portolan chart of America done by Antonio Milla in 1581, Mercator's celestial globe of 1551, and much more! To give some idea of the coverage, the maps are grouped by subject matter, the headings being (in translation): Earth and Sky; Sea charts; Continents in Atlases and Wall Maps; East Asia; Germany; Military Maps; Early German Surveys; Maps for the King; Prussian Cartographers; Significant Cartographers of the 19th and 20th Centuries. Admittedly the text is in German. However the illustrations can be appreciated by all, and alone are worth the price.
David C. Jolly, 1986
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