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Friday 27 December 2019

IC Bernd's engravings, “Camelopardalis” and “Cygnus”, 1730

IC Bernd (or JC Bernd; see (fl.1730)

(Upper engraving) “Camelopardalis” (The Giraffe), 1730, plate 8
(Lower engraving) “Cygnus” (The Swan), 1730, plate 14

Plate 8 and plate 14 in the series of fifty-four celestial charts (showing constellations in their zodiac signs—undoubtedly inspired by Johannes Hevelius’ (1611–1687) star atlas, ”Firmamentum Sobiescianum sive Uranographia” (1687) (see: and—to P. Corbiniano Thomas’ (1694–1767), “Mercurii philosophici firmamentum firmianum: descriptionem et vsum globi artificialis coelestis, ac asterismos ejusdem ad ineuntem annum 1730. reductos LXXXVI. Iconismis æri incisis exhibens” (aka “The Little Sky Atlas”), published in 1730 in Frankfurt am Main and Leipzig.

The Morgan Library and Museum offer details about this publication:

Regarding the celestial chart showing “Camelopardalis” (The Giraffe) offers the following explanation for what I see as a rather strange looking giraffe:
“The giraffe in question is supposedly the animal Rebecca rode to marry Isaac in the Book of Genesis, though the Biblical story itself refers to a camel. Legend has it that Johannes Hevelius saw the spots of a giraffe in the constellation's stars, prompting the association."

Ian Ridpath’s “Star Tales” offers the following description of the Cygnus constellation:
“A popular name for Cygnus is the Northern Cross, and indeed its shape is far larger and more distinctive than the famous Southern Cross. In its cruciform shape the Greeks visualized the long neck, outstretched wings and stubby tail of a swan flying along the Milky Way, in which it is embedded. Aratus’s description of it as being hazy or misty in parts is no doubt a reference to the Milky Way running through it. The mythographers tell us that the swan is Zeus in disguise, on his way to one of his innumerable love affairs, but his exact quarry is a subject of some disagreement.”

Engravings on laid paper with small margins and backed with a support sheet.
Size of upper engraving (“Camelopardalis”): (sheet) 15.7 x 17.8 cm; (plate) 13.9 x 14.3 cm; (image borderline) 13.2 x 13.9 cm.
Size of lower engraving (“Cygnus”): (sheet) 15.9 x 17.4 cm; (plate) 13.9 x 14.3 cm; (image borderline) 13.5 x 13.6 cm.
Both engravings inscribed on plate below the image borderline: (left) “I.C.B. fe.”

Condition: faultless lifetime impressions in near pristine condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, losses, folds, abrasions, significant stains or foxing). Both sheets are laid onto a single support sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper.

I am selling this pair of exceptionally rare, lifetime impressions of celestial charts published in 1730, for AU$546 in total for the pair (currently US$379.96/EUR341.13/GBP290.59 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world (but not, of course, any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries).

If you are interested in purchasing this pair of small but incredibly beautiful engravings, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This pair of prints has been sold

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