• Travel, Science and Natural Hi auction at Christies

    Sale 5489

    Travel, Science and Natural History

    22 April 2010, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 91

    MEDINA, Pedro de (1493-1567). L'Arte del navegar. Venice: Aurelio Pincio for Giovanni Battista Padrezano, 1554. Small 4° (215 x 149mm). Large woodcut on title, repeated on C1r, full-page woodcut map of Europe, Africa and the New World on E1r, numerous woodcut illustrations, including a large woodcut at the beginning of each of the 8 books, historiated initials, with the blanks b4 and R10. (Some mainly marginal soiling, a few leaves with mainly marginal light waterstaining, stronger on I7v and I8r). Contemporary limp vellum, manuscript title on spine (soiled and very rubbed, lacking ties, remnants of paper label at bottom of spine).

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    MEDINA, Pedro de (1493-1567). L'Arte del navegar. Venice: Aurelio Pincio for Giovanni Battista Padrezano, 1554. Small 4° (215 x 149mm). Large woodcut on title, repeated on C1r, full-page woodcut map of Europe, Africa and the New World on E1r, numerous woodcut illustrations, including a large woodcut at the beginning of each of the 8 books, historiated initials, with the blanks b4 and R10. (Some mainly marginal soiling, a few leaves with mainly marginal light waterstaining, stronger on I7v and I8r). Contemporary limp vellum, manuscript title on spine (soiled and very rubbed, lacking ties, remnants of paper label at bottom of spine).

    FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE with title dated 1554. First published in Valladolid in 1545, Medina's Arte del navegar was the first practical treatise on navigation, and the first to provide reliable instruction on the navigation of American waters. The information in the Arte del navegar was based on the first-hand accounts of pilots using the Indies trade route and was thus the most up-to-date and accurate obtainable. The text remained the standard navigation guide for this route well into the seventeenth-century, as witnessed by its many editions.
    The woodcuts in this edition are reduced copies of the cuts of the first edition (the very small world map at the head of books 3 and 8 differs however from the original cut, which shows the New World as an island: here only the easternmost coastlines are visible). The full-page map shows the Spanish trade routes and includes Florida, the mouth of the Mississippi and the area around the gulf of St. Lawrence. Adams M1025; Borba de Moraes II, 549-50; Harvard/Mortimer Italian 300; Palau 159679; Sabin 47346.


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