A Rare Prognostication for 1566 – Uncut in sheets

ALMANACS, PROGNOSTICA. Heiden, Christian (1525-1576)

Practica Christiani heidens verordneten Mathematici zu Nürmberg/ Auff das M. D. LXVII. Jar. Nach der heyligen Geburt Jhesu Christi. Jn gutem zu trewer warnung geschrieben.

Nuremberg: Nicolaus Knorn, 1566


Quarto: 22 x 16 cm. [12] lvs. Collation: A-C4

Uncut and unbound. The three sheets that comprise the quires folded but uncut, with deckled edges. Fine and well-preserved with very light marginal soiling to the edges, small splits at inner folds, and some light foxing to the margins. With five small woodcuts on the title page showing a lunar and solar eclipse, and personifications of the three planets (Mars, Saturn and Mercury) that will “rule” the year. Extremely rare. No copies located in North America.

A rare practica (combining aspects of almanacs and prognostica) for the year 1566 by the Nuremberg mathematician and globe maker Christian Heiden. Heiden published these from 1565 into the mid-1570s. All editions are extremely rare.

“Doppelmayr tells us that after years of study in Leipzig and Wittenberg, Heiden returned to his native city, became interested in making mathematical instruments, and in 1564 he was appointed to a professorship of mathematics in the famous Nürnberg gymnasium (This position required the annual publication of calendars, consequently, Heiden became the first official calendar maker of the city.) His biographer does not refer to his activity as a globe maker, but tells us that about the year 1570 he constructed for the Emperor Maximilian II a mechanical device for illustrating the movement of the sun and the moon, which instrument, he notes, especially interested the noted Frenchman, Petrus Ramus, who carefully examined it on the occasion of a visit to Nürnberg. The Dresden example of his work, the only example known, consists of a brass celestial globe encased in a covering of brass, on the surface of which is engraved a terrestrial map. It has a diameter of 72 cm., the whole being furnished with a horizon, a meridian, and an hour circle.”( Stevenson, Terrestrial and Celestial Globes, Vol I.)

VD16 H 3319; Zinner 2421; Kenney 82; Richel 32; Not in Houzeau & Lancaster