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** Closed **
By: Sir Robert Dudley
Subject: North Atlantic, Newfoundland, Azores Islands
Date: 1661 (published)
Publication: Dell' Arcano del Mare
Condition Code: A
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Size: 14.9 x 18.9 inches
37.9 x 48.0 cm
This elegant sea chart is crisply engraved in the sparse Florentine style with superb calligraphy throughout. The map covers a portion of the North Atlantic Ocean, from the southeastern tip of Newfoundland to the Azores Islands. The coast of Newfoundland is filled with place names, rocks and an anchorage, with several large shoals offshore. Only the northwestern Azores Islands of Corvo and Flores are shown. Short navigational notes are indicated throughout the chart. A large compass rose and a strapwork title cartouche embellish the chart. Engraved by A.F. Lucini. This is the second state.
Robert Dudley was the first Englishman to produce a sea atlas, Dell Arcano del Mare (Secrets of the Sea). A skilled mathematician and navigator, Dudley was exiled from England and settled in Florence where his atlas was published. He introduced a totally new style for sea charts in the atlas with only lines of latitude and longitude and no rhumb lines. The charts were meticulously compiled from original sources and were both scientific and accurate for the time. This important atlas was the first sea atlas of the whole world; the first to use Mercator's projection throughout; the earliest to show the prevailing winds, currents and magnetic deviation; and the first to expound the advantages of Great Circle Sailing. In an introductory leaf found in one copy in the British Library, the engraver states that he worked on the plates in seclusion for twelve years in an obscure Tuscan village, using no less than 5,000 pounds of copper for the printing plates. It was only issued in two editions and the maps are rarely seen on the market.
Condition Description: A fine, dark impression on watermarked paper with good margins and light printer's ink residue.
Ref: Shirley (BL Atlases) M.DUD-1b.