Auction 130, Lot 380

"Carta Particolare dell' Rio d'Amazone con la costa sin al'fiume Maranhan", Dudley, Robert (Sir)

Subject: Brazil

Period: 1647 (published)

Publication: Dell Arcano del Mare

Color: Black & White

18.5 x 14.5 inches
47 x 36.8 cm

This is the very rare, first edition of Dudley's elegant map of the vicinity of the mouth of the Amazon River in Brazil. Every river and creek along the coastline is shown with soundings, hazards and good anchorages carefully recorded. The distinctive calligraphy (alla cancellaresca), fine cartouche, compass rose and sailing ship are the work of the engraver, Antonio Francesco Lucini. Printed on two, joined sheets as issued.

Robert Dudley was the first Englishman to produce a sea atlas, Dell Arcano del Mare (Secrets of the Sea). 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. This map is from the first edition.


Condition: A+

Estimate: $2,000 - $2,750

Sold for: $2,750

Closed on 12/2/2009