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RARE re-issued edition of one of the earliest available scientific maps of the moon. Originally published in 1679 by Jean-Dominique Cassini (1625-1712), from drawings and engravings by Claude Mellan (1598-1688). This map is currently framed. 

This map was published by Cassini great-grandson, of the same name but more commonly known as Cassini IV (1748-1845), who in 1784 was the director of the Paris Observatory.

Cassini IV found the copper-plate of moon map at the Observatory in 1787, re-publishing it in 1788 (date of this example). He continued to work on the lunar map until control was assumed by the French revolutionary government in 1793.

The famous Cassini map shows details on the lunar surface observed through a telescope of twenty feet in length or more. Cassini I was taught astronomy under Catholic priest and astronomer Giovanni Baptist Riccioli (1598-1671), who was responsible for naming Mare Tranquilitatus.

The map is oriented south at the top, as is common with lunar maps, and is accompanied by a panel of text, describing named lunar formations after noted polymaths such as Galileo, Kepler and Copernicus, and as well as a description of 'newer' discoveries.

There are two rather elegant dedications within the topography of the moon’s surface, supposedly to Cassini’s wife, Geneviève de Laistre and to the wife of artist Jean Patigny (d. 1675). The first, the profile of a woman’s head which features in the lower half by the mountain range “Heraclides”. The second in the Mare Serenitis, a heart shape or the Greek letter phi (φ) as in philos - meaning love.

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23 x 34 cm

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