16 November 2005
THE VENETIAN FORGER -- Nova charta marina fo facta da mi fra Bono Arigoni Venexia MCCCCCXI. "Portolan chart" of the world on vellum, in sepia and red ink with green and red wash, (250 x 355mm). The chart set within red and sepia double-ruled borders, extending from Greenland to Brazil across to China and Malacca, rhumb lines in red and sepia, seas decorated with two galleons and three sea beasts, inset figure with a book at lower left corner, title with crowned Lion of St Mark at lower right corner.
A fascinating example of a series of maps possibly produced in Italy in the late 19th-century, replicating Portolan charts. An article by David Woodward, 'Could these Italian maps be fakes?', Map Collector 67, 1994, pp.2-10, fully documents 13 similar examples by mapmakers with curious names such as Doffin Bonaldo, Baldo Brunacius, including 2 by Fra Bono Harigonio, one of which has a similar title and date and was once in the Erlin Nordenskiold Collection. The other example by Harigonio is in the Newberry Library, Edward Ayer Collection. Woodward identifies 3 others in the Newberry and 2 in Huntingdon by the same "school". Curiously the famous carto-historian, Father Josef Fischer, owned one of these charts by Bonaldo, published on it in 1941 and always insisted the maps were correct!
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