Catalog Archive
Auction 132, Lot 586

"[Palestine]", Sanudo/Vesconte

Subject: Holy Land

Period: 1611 (published)

Publication: Liber Secretorum Fidelium Crucis

Color: Black & White

15.2 x 6.5 inches
38.6 x 16.5 cm
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This scarce map is a printed version of Petrus Vesconte's landmark manuscript map - the basis for all early cartography of Palestine. The Holy Land is oriented with east at the top, and the coastline, mountains, rivers and places are all fairly accurate. The eastern border is formed by a range of mountains along the Jordan River. Several small rivers, many of which are spurious, flow west of the Sea of Galilee, one of which mistakenly connects the Sea of Galilee with the Mediterranean. The map is remarkable for its network of lines, which provide a kind of latitude and longitude scheme. Old Testament iconography is emphasized and includes the locations of the Twelve Tribes, a depiction of the tomb of Job, and inscriptions marking where Lot's wife was turned into a pillar of salt. Crusader forts are located along the coastline, which runs from Gaza to Sidon.

Marino Sanudo was a Venetian statesman and geographer in the 14th century. He is best known for his life-long attempts to revive the Crusades. His great work the Secreta (or Liber Secretorum Fidelium Crucis), which was written in manuscript and presented to popes and kings in an attempt to persuade them to launch another series of crusades. Through its accompanying maps and plans, which were the work of the great sea-chart maker Petrus Vesconte, it occupies an important place in the development of cartography. The Secreta was only printed once and published with Bongars Gesta Dei per Francos, by Wechelius in 1611.

References: Laor #783; Mickwitz & Miekkavaara (Nordenskiold III) #346-II-2; cf Nebenzahl (HL) plt. 15.

Condition: A+

Sharp impression on a large sheet of hand-laid paper. There is a printer's crease in the upper margin, just entering the map near center.

Estimate: $2,200 - $3,000

Sold for: $3,750

Closed on 6/2/2010