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Lot 9: DUDLEY, RPlatinum House
December 11, 2012
Paris, FranceLive Auction
DUDLEY, R. Carta Particolare della Brittania Bassa in Francia Florence, 1661. Restaurations et consolidations en bas du pli central. Encadrée. 470 x 750 mm.
Seconde édition. L'atlas de Dudley "Arcano del Mare", est le premier atlas maritime anglais couvrant le monde. Les cartes sont gravées par Lucini.
Robert Dudley (1574-1649). English geographer. His rare atlas 'Arcano del Mare' was the first English sea-atlas, the first with charts - all in Mercator-projection- of the whole world. Famous for its engraving by Lucini. 1st. Ed. 1646-7, 2nd. Ed.1661.
Engraved by Lucini.
Sir Robert Dudley's Dell'Arcano del Mare is the earliest printed sea atlas to cover the entire world, and the first made by an Englishman, and the first to use the Mercator projection. It collects all the naval knowledge of its time. It was first published in Italian at Florence in 1645, then again in 1646 in a three volume folio, and which is remarkable for its inclusion of a proposal for the construction of a navy in five rates which Dudley designed and described. It was reprinted in Florence in a two volume folio in 1661 without the charts of the first edition.
The distinctive Baroque style of Dudley's charts, is attributable to the elegant engraving of Antonio Francesco Lucini.
The six-volume work covered navigation, shipbuilding and astronomy , with 130 maps in two volumes . Unlike the vast majority of his contemporaries, Dudley's maps are all his own and were not copied from other mapmakers. They have an instantly recognizable style, closer to the pre-17th-century manuscript portolan charts than the richly decorated maps of Mercator, Hondius and Blaeu.
Later map-makers chose not to copy Dudley's style and so it remains unique in the annals of cartography. The engraving by Antonio Francesco Lucini, who stated that he spent 12 years and used 5,000 pounds of copper to produce the plates, is of exceptional quality, as is the calligraphy.