L’America Dedicata all’Illustriss. ed D. Vincenzo di Capova Duca di Termoli, Conte d’Anversa
Data: Napoli,1700 circa
Soggetto: America
35.000,00 €
Copper engraving in four joined sheets, total dimension 35 ½” x 45 ½” (each sheet measures 17 ¾ x 22 ¾”. Extremely rare classic wall map published in Naples by Petrini as a separately-issued map, but sometimes included in his “Atlante Partenopeo”, an almost unknown atlas, printed in a very few number of copies in two issues of 1700 and 1718 c. Petrini bases his map on the sources of the previous map “L’Amerique divisée selon letendue de ses principals parties…dressée par Nicolas De Fer…a Paris...1698” by N. De Fer (1646-1720), known as “the beaver map” most noted for introducing to the world of cartography its beaver scenes. This first De Fer edition is extraordinarily rare and many author of cartographical bibliographies (Tooley, McLaughlin) are not able to trace editions before the second 1705 printing. This makes the Petrini’s the second map featuring the new image of America introducted by De Fer, but actually the first very rarely obtainable map for collectors. All later De Fer editions are following the Petrini map. Petrini is also following Coronelli, a venetian cartographer of the late XVII century. The depiction of the Americas is in good part based on his maps of North and South America, from his Atlante Veneto (Venice, circa 1690). Eastern North America is reasonably well-defined, with all five of the Great Lakes delineated. The Mississippi River is present, although its mouth is located far southwest of its true location. In the west, California is shown to be a large island, while in the Pacific Northwest, the coast curves inwards to include the mythical Strait of Anian. South America takes on an exaggerated, widened form, although the Andes and major rivers are depicted with a broad degree of accuracy. The map is surrounded by large bordures with decorative scenes placed in the body of plate and not printed on a separate sheet later added. There are two main scenes in the upper corners. Top left, the famous “Beaver scene” titled Li castori del Canada where the beavers are industriously building a dam in front of Niagara falls (depicted for the first time in 1697 in Louis Hennepin’s Nouvelle decouverte…). The top right inset scene La pesca del Baccalà illustrates the typical cod-finishing factory found along the Newfoundland coast. Both the scenes are to be found in later maps. Further images were of Canadian savages (I Salvagi del Canada) and Indians (I Illinesi). On side borders, left Li habitanti di Virginia and Li Brasiliani, right Gli antichi Messicani and Gli habitanti del Nuovo Mondo. At bottom from left Li habitanti di Chili, Gli Habitanti del Peru, Gli habitanti a torno il Rio di Plata, Li Buccanieri. All around the map we find 6 medallions with portraits of Magellano, Artha-Balipa, Colombo (left) and Francesco Pisar, Mote-Zuma re del Messico, Americo Vespuse (right) Very little is known of Paolo Petrini, the Neapolitan mapmaker. He is known to have published the rare Atlante partenopeo (1700-1718), and the equally rare set of wall-maps of the continents. Much of his work appears to have been based on contemporary French mapping, notably the works of the Sanson family and Nicolas de Fer. However, he was also an original author; it may be seen from his map of Asia, which demonstrates the use of more up-to-date sources where available. References: McLaughlin, California as an island, 139.

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