An unusual and decorative lunar map

Joh[ann] Gabr[iel] Doppelmayr and Joh[ann] Baptista Homann, Tabula Selenographica, Nuremberg, ca. 1707-1748.
Engraving, 19x22.5 inches plus margins, full color

A spectacular chart depicting the competing lunar maps of Johannes Hevelius (1611-87) and Giovanni Riccioli (1598-1671).

Hevelius… publish[ed] the first atlas of the moon, Selenographia, 1647…. 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. It is to the Jesuit astronomer, Giambattista Riccioli, an ardent opponent of Copernicanism, that we owe most of the familiar lunar names. (Whitfield, Mapping of the Heavens, p. 93)

Rather than resolving this dispute, many early atlases included both systems and left the reader to decide. This is the case with the present item, which presents the two maps side-by-side. So, for example, the reader can choose between Hevelius’ “Mt. Sinai” became Riccioli’s “Tycho.”

Tabula Selenographica was produced by Johann Doppelmayr (1677-1750) and Johann Homann (1663-1724), first appearing in Homann’s Neuer Atlas (1707). Both men were leading figures in the scientific community of Nuremburg-Doppelmayr as an astronomer and mathematician and Homann as the foremost German cartographic publisher. Their years-long collaboration resulted in the publication of many celestial charts and was carried on by Homann’s heirs after his death.

The present item was reissued a number of times, making its final appearance in the Atlas Coelestis (1742 and 1748), a composite atlas of the Doppelmayr-Homann celestial charts.

Whitfield, Mapping of the Heavens, pp. 93, 96-97. Van Gent, “The Atlas Coelestis (1742) of Johann Gabriel Doppelmayr,” at


Very good condition overall. A couple of repairs in top margin, a 1/2" tear at top just into the neatline, top and left margins narrow but sufficient for framing.