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Robert Dudley:  Carta terza Generale del' Asia

Map of Japan

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Title: Carta terza Generale del' Asia

Map Maker: Robert Dudley

Place / Date: Florence / 1661

Coloring: Uncolored

Size: 18 x 15 inches

Condition: VG+

Price: $3,900.00

Inventory ID: 40326


Rare first state of this fascinating map of the Pacific Ocean, from the southern coast of Japan (Terra Iezo) and the Northwest Coast of America north of Cape Mendocino (including Quivira), south to Nova Guinea, from Dudley's Dell'Arcano del Mare.

The coastline shown in the southwestern part of the map corresponds with the Northeastern Coastline of Australia, but is identified as Nuova Guinea.

The map shows one of the great cartographic myths of the period, the proximity of the Japanese coastline to America, separated only by a narrow "Stretto di Iezo" (Strait of Japan).  The American Coastline shown on the map includes Cape Mendocino.

The chart extends south to the north coast of New Guinea and islands of the Pacific Ocean to the west, including the I. Scopte de Magalianes, Isla Honden and a number of the other islands discovered by Le Maire and Schoten  The Las Marquesas de Mendoza (Maquesas Islands), discovered in 1595 by Pedro Fernandes de Queiros, are also shown at the western edge of the map.

This sea chart appeared in Robert Dudley's Dell'Arcano del Mare, one of the rarest and most highly sought after sea atlases of the 17th Century.  Robert Dudley, an Englishman, produced this equisite work while living in Florence. Dudley, who was believed to have received some of his information directly from Sir Francis Drake, labored for decades before finally releasing the first edition of this work when he was 73 years old. Dudley's atlas is of the utmost importance, being the first Sea Atlas published by an Englishman and the first Sea Atlas to treat the entire world (not just Europe). It is also the first atlas to utilize the Mercator Projection on a uniform basis and included significant advances in "Great Circle" navigation (shortest circle around the Globe). Its inclusion of winds and currents was also a monumental first. Completed in Manuscript form in 1636, it is among the most important works in the history of European Cartography.

Robert Dudley (1574 – 1649) was the illegitimate son of Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester. In 1594 Dudley led an expedition to the West Indies, of which he wrote an account. In 1605, Dudley tried unsuccessfully to establish his legitimacy in court. After that he left England and converted to Catholicism, taking up residence in Florence where he served the Grand Dukes of Tuscany in their efforts to rid the Mediterranean of Piracy. There he worked as a noted shipbuilder and designed and published Dell'Arcano del Mare, the first maritime atlas to cover the whole world. He was also a skilled navigator, mathematician and engineer. In Italy, he styled himself Earl of Warwick and Leicester as well as Duke of Northumberland. He was a friend of Sir Francis Drake and relative of Thomas Cavendish, both of whom corresponded with Dudley and likely supplied some of the information for his Atlas.

Related Categories:
Maps of California (California, Nevada, Arizona)
Maps of Northwest America (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana)
Map of Japan