GASTALDI, Giacomo (c.1500-c.1565, cartographer) and Fabio LICINI (1521-1565, engraver). Geographia particolare d'una gran parte dell' Europa. Rome: Antonio Lafreri, 1560.
Engraved wall map of South Eastern Europe on six sheets, joined, overall dimensions 885 x 1090mm. Title and dedication set in cartouches, four compass roses, the seas decorated with ships, scale-bar, graticule border. (Upper left sheet trimmed to plate mark along upper edge and remargined, some discolouration along joints, old vertical crease, small areas of restoration.)
A VERY RARE WALL MAP OF SOUTH EASTERN EUROPE, one of Gastaldi's most important maps. The map covers the Italian peninsula, Austria, Hungary, Dalmatia, Walachia, Bulgaria, Rumania, Sicily, the Balkan peninsula, Greece, part of Asia Minor and part of North Africa. Tooley only lists two assembled copies of this map and notes that even in those atlases and collections formed at the period four sheets are usually found separate or joined in pairs. The two lower quarters are each printed from two plates, although each rightly considered quarters, while the upper quadrants are each printed from a single copperplate. Giacomo Gastaldi was born at the end of the fifteenth or beginning of the sixteenth century, although he does not appear in any records until 1539 when the Venetian Senate granted him a privilege for the printing of a perpetual calendar. His first dated map appeared in 1544; he was an accomplished engineer and cartographer at a time when Italian map making and engraving was without rival. Karrow argued that Gastaldi's early contact with the celebrated geographical editor, Giovanni Battista Ramusio, and his involvement with the latter's work, Navigationi et Viaggi, prompted him to take up map-making as a full-time occupation. The present map, produced at the height of his career is an excellent example of the clarity and accuracy which was the hallmark of Venetian map making in the mid-sixteenth century. The upper two sheets were published separately in Venice in 1559 (cf Tooley 25), but Lafreri then acquired the rights, and Gastaldi added the two lower sheets in 1560. The South Eastern sheet of Greece was reissued in 1560 with a separate title before being assembled into this wallmap (Tooley 280). Gastaldi worked closely with the celebrated Roman map- and print-seller, Antonio Lafreri, who issued these sheets as part of his 'Lafreri' composite atlases. The sheets were printed separately and it is unusual to see them together in the original design as a wall map. Tooley located assembled copies in the British Library; Triester Lloyd collection; Karrow adds another copy in the Newberry Library. Tooley 28; Karrow 30/87.