PTOLEMAEUS, CLAUDIUS. La Geografia... Con alcuni comenti & aggiunti fattevi da Sebastiano Munstero... Con le tavole... di Messer Iacopo Gastaldo. Venice: (Niccolò Bascarini for) Giovanni Battista Pederzano 1548 (colophon dated 1547). 8vo, 162 x 106 mm. (6 3/8 x 4 3/16 in.), contemporary or slightly later pigskin, covers decorated in blind with roll-tooled and fillet borders surrounding inner panel with pomegranate tools at angles and central lozenge with foliate tooling, plain spine in four compartments. manuscript lettering in the second (faded), remains of leather label in the top compartment, edges blue-stained at a later date, lacking clasps, remains of catches, later endpapers, covers rubbed and soiled, a few small wormholes, some leather loss mainly at extremities; modern folding linen gilt case; title a trifle stained, insignificant marginal wormholes to first 3 leaves and last leaf, maps 8-23 with small tears and repairs at lower inner margins, a few tears just entering platemarks, maps 17, 28 and 30 with longer internal tears at gutters, a few minor stains, a few of the plates faintly printed. FIRST EDITION IN ITALIAN, translated by Pietro Andrea Mattioli (from the original Greek and from Münster's Latin commentary), roman and italic types, title with woodcut half-border strips, woodcut of Ptolemy observing the heavens on fol. r, woodcut text diagrams, 8- and 5-line woodcut initials, Pederzano's large woodcut device on colophon leaf DD7r and verso of final leaf, 60 double-page engraved maps by Giacomo Gastaldi, including 2 world maps (Shirley 87 and 88), decorated with sea-monsters, ships, etc., descriptive text and map numbers on rectos. Adams P-2234; Alden 548/31; Burden 16 and 17; Burmeister 170; Harvard/Mortimer Italian 404; Phillips 369; Sabin 66502; Streeter sale I:17; The World Encompassed 122.
First Italian edition of Ptolemy, the first small format atlas ever printed, and possibly the most important Italian atlas of the sixteenth century. The translation by Pietro Andrea Mattioli, botanist and translator of Dioscorides, was preceded only by Berlinghieri's Italian verse paraphrase (Florence c. 1482), and apparently never reprinted, being superseded by Ruscelli's translation, first printed in 1561 and frequently thereafter. The Piedmontese cartographer Giacomo Gastaldi (1500-1560) is known to have compiled at least 109 separate maps during his career as cosmographer to the Republic of Venice. Gastaldi's delicate engravings constitute the first full series of engraved Ptolemaic maps to appear since the incunable editions of Bologna, Rome and Florence (Berlinghieri). While he based the 26 Ptolemaic maps on Münster's woodcut maps (Basel 1540 and subsequent editions), Gastaldi's 34 modern maps, which are interspersed with the ancient maps rather than grouped at the end, were designed independently and contain significant innovations. Five maps are exclusively devoted to the New World, which is also depicted in the modern World map and in the "Carta Marina Universale" -- the first sea chart of the modern world -- both showing the Americas as an eastern extension of Asia. These American maps, the earliest regional maps of America, include the earliest separate map of the South American continent ("Tierra Nova", map 54), the first separately printed map of the Gulf Coast, Mexico, and the present Southwestern United States ("Nueva Hispania", map 55), and the first separate map of the Eastern coast of North America ("Tierra Nueva [del Bacalaos], map 56), showing the discoveries of Verrazzano and Cartier. An attractive copy.