Requires Photography

Sphaera mundi (Sphere of the World)

Illustrated by Unidentified artist, Italian, 15th century, Author Joannes de Sacro Bosco (active 1230), Printer Erhard Ratdolt (German, worked Italy, 1447?–1527/28)

Catalogue Raisonné

Goff J-406; Essling 259; Sander 6662; BMC V 290; Redgrave, Ratdolt, 57


Overall: 22.2 x 16.6 x 2 cm (8 3/4 x 6 9/16 x 13/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Illustrated book with 62 woodcuts, of which seven are color-printed

Not On View


Europe, Prints and Drawings


Illustrated books

(Venice: Erhard Ratdolt [before 4 November] 1485) Quarto; 58 leaves; half vellum, thick beige paper wraps, beige cloth box.

Selected illustrations: astronomical instrument (fol. 1 1v); color-printed diagrams (fols. 3 2v, 3 8r; 4 4r; 4 5r; 4 8r; 5 3v [three colors: black, red, ochre]; 5 4r

Venice: Erhard Ratdolt [before 4 November] 1485


Early [ownership?] inscriptions on recto of first leaf; Theodore H. Castor & Co., Boston, from whom purchased by MFA August 17, 1899.

Credit Line

Harvey D. Parker Collection—Harvey Drury Parker Fund, by exchange