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Stock# 102001

Lavishly illustrated late 17th Century atlas including finely engraved maps and views of Italy and Sicily.

The Topographia Italiae . . .  is considered among the finest products of the famed Merian publishing house, and as one of the best illustrated works on Italy from the 17th Century.

The book includes finely engraved multi-sheet birdseye views of Rome and Venice, as well as attractive plans and views of Bologna, Ferrara, Florence, Genua, Lucca, Mantua, Milan, Messina, Naples (including the Phlegrean Fields and the Solfatara), Padua, Palermo, Siena, Turin, La Valetta, and Verona. 

Condition Description
Folio (322 x 202 mm). Old vellum, leather spine label, handsewn headbands. Minor rubbing to binding, which is tight and very nice. A few minor old repairs to a couple of the folding maps. Overall very clean internally, with decent margins and with all the maps and views being dark impressions. 2 parts in 1 volume: Engraved extra title page (by Joachim Sandrart), title page (with vignette), 160, [12]; 29, [3] pages plus a total of 54 engraved maps and views (12 folding, most of the rest double-sheet), including 9 maps. Page 55 misnumbered 45; 102 is 106; 153 is 315. Does not have the 2 preliminary text leaves "Beschreibung der vornehmsten Städte und Plätze in Welschland ("Description of the most prominent cities and places in Italy") which is sometimes bound in following the title pages. Else complete, with all maps and views present.
Matthaus Merian Biography

Mathaus Merian (1593-1650) was the father of engraver Matthäus the Younger, and of the painter, engraver, and naturalist Maria Sibylla Merian. He was born in Basel, Switzerland and trained in engraving in Zurich. After a time in Nancy, Paris and Strasbourg, he settled in Frankfurt. While there, he worked for Johann Theodor de Bry, the publisher and son of the travel writer. In 1617, he married Maria Magdalena de Bry, Johann Theodor’s daughter. In 1623, Merian took over the de Bry publishing house upon the death of his father-in-law. Merian’s best known works are detailed town views which, due to their accuracy and artistry, form a valuable record of European urban life in the first half of the sixteenth century