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Rare and finely engraved early map of Sicily, published in Venice by the important Lafreri School mapmaker Ferrando Bertelli.

Bertelli's map of Sicily is one of only a very few Lafreri School maps of Sicily. As with the other early maps of Sicily, Bertelli's map follows the cartographic details of Giacomo Gastaldi's landmark map of Sicily, first published in 1545, which also holds the important distinction of being Gastaldi's second printed map.

Tooley records only 6 such maps, including:

  • (Gastaldi, 1545) Descrittione della sicilia con le sue Isola deall quai l nomi Antichi et Moderni . . .
  • (Anonymous, n.d.) Sicilia locarum nomina antiquis recentiorbusq temporib us usurpata . . .
  • (Lucchini 1558) Sicilia seu Trinacria insula . . . (based on Gastaldi's map of 1545. Reissued by Orlandi in 1602)
  • (Camotium 1566) Vera ae nouiss Siciliae descriptio celeberrimi comsographi Iacobi Gastaldi Pedemontani (Camoccio's copy of the 1545 Gastaldi map)
  • (Lafreri, n.d) Sicilia insularum omnium . . . (re-issued by Petri de Nobilibus in Rome in 1582)
  • (Bertelli, n.d.) Li Nomi Antichi e Moderni De l'Isola d'Sicila

Ferrando Bertelli is one of a group of 16th Italian mapmakers often referred to as "Lafreri School," named for the Roman mapmaker and publisher Antoni Lafreri, who assembled composite atlases of maps published by himself and other Italian mapmakers and added his title page to some examples.

Typically, when these atlases were created, the publisher cut the maps down to the engraved plate lines and then mounted blank paper on all four sides, in order to create a uniform paper size for binding.

Lafreri School maps are generally the earliest obtainable modern maps of various regions of the world. While most maps were separately issued, some were bound in composite atlases, which increased the prospects of their survival until modern times.

Bertelli's map of Sicily is very rare. Tooley located only 8 examples and we note only a single example at auction in the past 30 years (Christies, 2006).

Condition Description
Trimmed to neatline, with margins extended for binding, as was typical for Lafreri style maps.
Bifolco & Ronca, Illustration #137. Imago Mundi III (Tooley - Italian Atlases) #521.