Catalog Archive
Auction 182, Lot 720

Rare Lafreri View of Tripoli

"Tripoli Citta di Barbaria", Lafreri, Antonio

Subject: Tripoli, Libya

Period: 1602 (dated)

Publication: Geografia Tavole Moderne

Color: Black & White

16.6 x 11.5 inches
42.2 x 29.2 cm
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This rare bird's-eye plan depicts the presumed victory of King Philip II of Spain's attempt to recapture Tripoli from the Ottomans in 1560. Despite the illustrations of soldiers, tents, horses, artillery and ships surrounding the city, the Spanish never reached the city of Tripoli. Instead the Spanish naval forces were intercepted by the Ottomans en route to Tripoli near the island of Djerba, where the Spaniards suffered huge losses. This engraving was created prior to news of the Spanish defeat reaching mainland Europe, but was published years afterward. This is the fifth and final state with the imprints of Claudio Duchetti and Hendrick van Schoel, published circa 1614.

Antoine du Perac Lefrery of Besancon was born in France in 1512, and Italianized his name to Antonio Lafreri upon settling in Rome in 1540. In 1544 he established a business as an engraver and print seller, and began collaborating with Antonio Salamanca, an existing dealer, in 1553. After Salamanca's death, Lafreri continued to work on his own, and became the leading dealer in engravings in Rome until his death in 1577. Lafreri's focus was as a dealer and publisher, rather than as an artisan, and he is credited with being one of the first to issue collections of maps in atlas form, assembled to order per a customer's specific requests.


Condition: A

A nice impression on a bright sheet with a fleur-de-lis watermark and professional repairs to a number of worm tracks confined to the blank margins.

Estimate: $1,000 - $1,400

Sold for: $500

Closed on 4/28/2021