"Isole nel Mare di Sur Scoperte nel 1617. La Longitudine Comincia da l'Isola di Pico d'Asores d'Asia Carta XXII", Dudley, Robert (Sir)
Subject: South Pacific Ocean
Period: 1646 (published)
Publication: Dell' Arcano del Mare
Color: Black & White
29.2 x 18.9 inches
74.2 x 48 cm
This simple but elegant map is from the first sea atlas based on Mercator's projection. The map covers the South Pacific islands discovered by Jacob le Maire on his 1616 voyage, including Vlegen Is., Waterland Is., Honden Is. northeast of Tahiti. The chart, beautifully engraved by Antonio Lucini, is embellished with a title cartouche, large compass rose and a sailing ship. This is the first state. Two sheets joined, as issued.
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.
References: Shirley (BL Atlases), M.DUD-1a, #112.
A dark impression on watermarked paper with an extraneous crease at top right and minor toning along centerfold.