3 Dudley /Rare Old Antique Chart/ Madeira / Virtual Map Fair 134


Title: [Old Antique sea chart of the North Altantic Ocean, Madeira, Morocco] Carta particolare che comincia con li stretto di Gibilterro e Finisce con il capo Gruer nella Barberia Occid.le.
Author: Dudley, R.
PlaceAndYear: Florence, 1661.
Description: Robert Dudley (1574-1649). English cartographer. The Arcano del Mare (Mystery of the Sea), is "ONE OF THE GREATEST ATLASES OF THE WORLD": it is the first sea-atlas of the whole world; the first with all the charts constructed using Mercator's new projection, as corrected by Edward Wright; the first to give magnetic declination; the first to give prevailing winds and currents; the first to expound the advantages of Great Circle Sailing; and the first sea-atlas to be compiled by an Englishman. Dudley broke completely with the contemporary style of charts. He showed lines of latitude and longitude and omitted all compass lines. In doing so, his purpose was more intellectual than practical: techniques for determining longitude at sea were not refined until more than two centuries later. The maps are by English and other pilots and it is generally accepted that the work was both scientific and accurate for the time.Famous for its engraving by Antonio Francesco Lucini. Florence born Lucini put the stamp of his personality on the finished work as well as did the author; the delicacy and strength of the engraving, the embellishments of the lettering "alla cancellaresca", make it a true example of Italian Baroque art. In a printed introductory leaf found in one copy in the British Library, Lucini states that he worked on the plates in seclusion for twelve years in an obscure Tuscan village, using up to no less than 5,000 lbs (2,268 kg) of copper. According to the engraver, the Arcano del Mare took forty years to prepare and twelve to execute.The first edition appeared in1646-7, the second in 1661.

A chart depicting the southwesternmost coasts of Spain with Cape Trafalgar, the Strait of Gibraltar and the west coast of North Africa as far south as C. Rhir near Agadir in Marocco, also showing Madeira and Porto Santo.
Dimensions: 460 x 730 mm
Colouring: uncoloured
Condition: discolouring in center fold as usual, otherwise excellent.
  • Number: 1012237
  • Dealer: Speculum Orbis Nauticum

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