24 November 2009
BARTOLOMMEO DALLI SONETTI. Isolario. [Venice: Guilelmus Anima Mia, Tridinensis, ca. 1485/86].
Median 4° (231 x 162mm). 35 (of 49) woodcut maps with contemporary hand-colouring, of which two double-page. (15 missing leaves, of which 9 replaced by possibly early 16th-century manuscript maps and part text in ink, repairs to double-page map of Crete, some restoration to the map of Rhodes, small hole to f.23 affecting the maps of Tine (Tinos) and Micone (Mikonos), some light staining and spotting.) Recent calf (extremities scuffed). Provenance: Anibal Cecchi (ink ownership inscription to first leaf dated Florence 1624).
FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST PRINTED MARITIME ATLAS, the only incunable edition, and the only fifteenth-century book illustrated with nautical charts. The first in a long series of printed Italian island-books, the Isolario provides a detailed survey of the Aegean archipelago. The appealingly decorative charts clearly derive from the portolan manuscript tradition: each chart is projected on a wind-rose marked with compass bearings, the orientation varying from chart to chart. 'Bartolommeo dalli Sonetti's Isolario breaks new ground in a number of ways. It is the first printed island-book; it is the earliest printed collection of charts ... it contains the first printed maps supposedly based on actual observation; and it is the first printed collection of maps to owe no debt to Ptolemy' (Campbell). BMC V, 410 (IA. 23055-56); Campbell Maps 89-92; CIBN B-119; Essling 1316; IGI 1278; Sander 799; The World Encompassed 82; Goff B-183.
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