Greece and Crete, flanked by the Aegean and the Adriatic, are seen in this map from the 1482 Ulm edition of Ptolemy’s 'Cosmographia' sold by Aste Bolaffi of Turin at €405,000 (£346,275).

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Also known as the Geographia, and produced c.150BC in Alexandria but drawing on an earlier, now lost atlas by Marinus of Tyre, it is a hugely influential work that was translated into Arabic in the 9th century and into Latin for the first time in 1406.

Drawing on maps and texts produced by a geographer and cartographer known only as Nicolaus Germanus who was working in Florence at the time, this was a copy of the first edition of this famous work printed outside Italy.

This edition sold at Aste Bolaffi (25% buyer’s premium) on June 22 produced in Ulm by Lienhart Holle includes 29 coloured woodcut maps, all bar one of which are double-page. Given the price, could this have been one of the small number of deluxe vellum examples recorded?

Unfortunately for Holle, his edition was not the success he would have wished or deserved. As Rodney Shirley notes in his great study of The Mapping of the World… 1472-1700, Holle went bankrupt shortly after publication. His stock was, however, taken over by Johann Reger, who four years later produced a second edition that ran to around 1000 copies.

Five copies of this 1482 Ulm edition have made more at auction. In 1990 an example in a fine 18th century binding by Derome le jeune was bid to $1.75m as part of the great Bradley Martin library at Sotheby’s New York.