PINETTI, Francesco, a Portolano of the eastern Mediterranean, in Italian, manuscript on paper [Liguria, Genoa], 16 October 1689
PINETTI, Francesco, a Portolano of the eastern Mediterranean, in Italian, manuscript on paper [Liguria, Genoa], 16 October 1689
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PINETTI, Francesco, a Portolano of the eastern Mediterranean, in Italian, manuscript on paper [Liguria, Genoa], 16 October 1689

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PINETTI, Francesco, a Portolano of the eastern Mediterranean, in Italian, manuscript on paper [Liguria, Genoa], 16 October 1689

A working 17th-century handbook providing written sailing instructions from the port city of Genoa westwards towards southern Spain and south towards Calabria.


270 x 180mm. iv + 31 leaves, textually complete, pencil pagination 1-62 followed here, c.30 lines (edges frayed, marginal thumbing and staining, f.31 loose). Contemporary vellum over card (warped, torn, soiled and frayed).

Provenance: 'Io Fran[ces]co Pinetti della Riva di Taggia': inscription on f.i dated 16 October 1689, the hand matching that of the main text — 18th-century inscriptions on upper pastedown, one dated 27 March 1705: 'Rotta di uno instrumento fatto in Genoa'.

Content: Quotation from Torquato Tasso, Gerusalemme Liberata: 'O Musa, tu che di caduchi allori / non circondi la fronte in Halicona' p.2; Description of the city of Genoa and directions along the southern French and eastern Spanish coasts to Sanlúcar de Barrameda via Menton, Monaco, Villefranche, Marseille, Cadaques, Barcelona, Valencia, Cartagena, Marbella, Gibraltar, Cadiz etc. pp.5-43; Directions from Genoa along the Tyrrhenian coast of Italy to Capo Vaticano in Calabria via Livorno, Fiumicino, Naples, etc. pp.45-62.

The genesis of the portolan chart as we know it in pictorial form is inextricably linked to the production in the late medieval period of these textual sailing instructions of the Mediterranean Sea, known as portolani in Italy, and later roteiros by the Portuguese and rutters by the Dutch and English, written by mariners as guides for sailing from port to port in the Mediterranean.
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