Rare Vienna Woodcut, Anno Domini 1548, From Sebastian Munster's Cosmographia For Sale

A Dramatic and RARE Woodcut Panorama/Bird's Eye View of Vienna, Austria

from Sebastian Munster's "Cosmographia" the Earliest German Language Description of the World.


Title: Anno Domini 1548. Viena Austriae Hunc Habuit Situm


This hand-colored original antique woodcut, a view of Vienna, Austria from the northeast was engraved in 1548, the date is engraved in the title, and was published by Sebastian Munster in the 1550 Latin edition of Cosmographia.

Framed dimensions are 19-3/8"x39-3/8". Image size inside of mat is 9-1/2"x30".

A very spectacular, antique and folio size view of Austria's capital.This rare andwonderful woodcut and letterpress has the usual traces of age and use. There is one fold in the center as you can see in the photos. Considering the age of being 453 years old, this view is in wonderful condition and is framed with a hand stenciled mat. Please look at my photos closely to determine condition.


For a variety of reasons, town plans were comparatively latecomers in the long history of cartography. Few cities in Europe in the middle ages had more than 20,00 inhabitants and even London in the late Elizabethan period had only 100-150,000 people which in itself was probably 10 times that of any other English city. The Nuremberg Chronicle in 1493 included one of the first town views of Jerusalem, tafter, for most of the sixteenth century, German cartographers led the way in producing town plans in a modern sense. In 1544 Sebastian Munster issued in Basle his Cosmographia containing roughly sixty-six plans and views, some in the plan form, but many in the old panorama or birds-eye view.


Sebastian Munster 1489 - 1552. Three names dominated cartography in the 16th century; Mercator, Ortelius & Munster, and of these three Munster probably had the widest influence in spreading geographical knowledge throughout Europe in the middle years of the century. His Cosmographica , issued in 1544, contained not only the latest views of many well known cities, but included an encyclopedic amount of detail about the known and unknown world and undoubtedly was one of the most widely read books of its time, going through nearly forty editions in six languages.

An eminent German mathematician and linguist, Munster became professor of Hebrew at Heidelberg and later at Basle, where he settled in 1529. In 1528, following his first mapping of Germany, he appealed to German scholars to send him descriptions, so that all Germany with its villages, towns, trades etc. may be seen in a `mirror`, even going so far as to give instructions on how they should map their own localities. The response was far greater than expected and much information was sent by foreigners as well as Germans so that, eventually, he was able to include many up-to-date, if not very accurate, maps in his atlases. He was the first to provide a separate map of each of the four known continents and the first separately printed map of England.

His maps, printed from woodblocks, are now greatly valued by collectors. His two major works, the Geographia and Cosmographia were published in Basle by his step-son, Henri Petri, who continued to issue many editions after Munsters death of the plague in 1552.

Wolfgang Lazius, physician, historian and cartographer, supplied this view of his home city as viewed from the north. The date" 1548" and initials "HRMD" appearing at the lower centre and "HH" to the right identify the woodcutters as Hans Rudolph Manuel Deutsch and Heinrich Holzmuller. It seems likely that one probably executed the topography, the other the lettering and scrollwork, prominently displayed in the banner extending the full length of the image.


Inscription Content: Dated at lower right. Lettered on the large banderole: 'ANNO DOMINI 1548. VIENA' and lettered throughout with location names. Pages numbered 682 and 684. Letterpress title: 'Vienna Austriae metropolis, urbs toto orbe notissima celebratissimaque, unicu hodie in Oriente contra'.


These double-page folding panorama/bird's eye views rarely survived due to their size and this is a fine example.


Thanks for looking at this and my other items! Happy offerding!
Rare Vienna Woodcut, Anno Domini 1548, From Sebastian Munster's Cosmographia

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