Fine example of the first edition of the Nolin-Coronelli map of the Caribbean.
The map presents a marvelous large format look at the region, as known to Coronelli and Nolin at the end of the 18th Century. Florida's southern coastline is curiously shaped, but not yet reflected as an archipelago. The Bahamas consist of a series of oversized islands. Most of the major islands include one or more annotations regarding the early exploration of the island.
Nolin began collaborating with Coronelli during Coronelli's stay in Paris, during which time Coronelli prepared a set of globes for the King of France. Coronelli worked in Paris from 1683 to 1685, constructing a set of 490 centimeter globes from Louis XIV. In August 1686, he entered into a contract with Nolin, the official engraver to Louis XIV, which resulted in a collaboration for the production of a number of maps, including this map of the Caribbean and 4 maps of North America and its regions, the earliest of which was published in aproximately 1687.
The maps were modified several times during the 17th Century, most notably with the additon of Nicolas du Tralage, Sieur Tillemon's name. A final modification was made in the 1740s, which changes the publisher's address to rue Saint Jacques.
Vincenzo Maria Coronelli (1650-1718) is one of the most influential Italian mapmakers and is known especially for his globes and atlases. The son of a tailor, Vincenzo was apprenticed to a xylographer (a wood block engraver) at a young age. At fifteen he became a novice in a Franciscan monastery. At sixteen he published his first book, the first of 140 publications he would write in his lifetime. The order recognized his intellectual ability and saw him educated in Venice and Rome. He earned a doctorate in theology, but also studied astronomy. By the late 1670s, he was working on geography and was commissioned to create a set of globes for the Duke of Parma. These globes were five feet in diameter. The Parma globes led to Coronelli being named theologian to the Duke and receiving a bigger commission, this one from Louis XIV of France. Coronelli moved to Paris for two years to construct the King’s huge globes, which are 12.5 feet in diameter and weigh 2 tons.
The globes for the French King led to a craze for Coronelli’s work and he traveled Europe making globes for the ultra-elite. By 1705, he had returned to Venice. There, he founded the first geographical society, the Accademia Cosmografica degli Argonauti and was named Cosmographer of the Republic of Venice. He died in 1718.