Catalog Archive
Auction 190, Lot 267

"Carta Particolare del' Mare del' Zur che Comincia con il Capo S. Francesco nel' Peru e Finisce con il Capo S. Lazaro nella Nuova Spagnia...", Dudley, Robert (Sir)

Subject: Central America & Northwestern South America

Period: 1647 (circa)

Publication: Dell' Arcano del Mare...

Color: Black & White

29.7 x 19.3 inches
75.4 x 49 cm
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This uncommon chart covers the southern coast of Central America and northwestern South America, extending west to the Galapagos Islands. It features excellent detail along the coastlines with place names, inlets, soundings, and anchorages. The chart is elegantly engraved with fine calligraphy, a bold title cartouche, sailing ship and compass rose by the Florentine craftsman Arnoldo Lucini.

Robert Dudley was the first Englishman to produce a sea atlas, Dell Arcano del Mare (Secrets of the Sea). Dudley, a skilled mathematician and navigator, 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 #142; Wagner #352b.

Condition: B

On watermarked paper with light toning along the centerfold, minor foxing, and light dampstains that just enter the image at left and right.

Estimate: $1,000 - $1,300

Sold for: $500

Closed on 11/16/2022