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Description

Rare Lafreri school map of America by prepard by Arnoldo di Arnoldi and engraved by Matteo Florimi in Siena, circa 1600.

Arnoldo di Arnoldi was a Flemish cartographer who lived most of his productive life in Italy, primarily in Bologna, where he worked with Giovanni Antonio Magini. In 1600, he moved to Siena, where he produced a 10 sheet map of the world and a 2 sheet world map, along with a set of maps of the 4 continents, each of which is exceptionally rare.

The map of America was engraved by the important Sienese engraver Matteo Florimi, who is perhaps more famous for his series of large Italian City Views. While at first glance, the map appears to be based upon Ortelius, there are a number of notable differences, including the depiction of New Guinea as an island. The rivers in along the Gulf Coast of North America flow southeasterly, reminiscent of Giovanni Battista Mazza's map of 1589.

Phillip Burden surmised that the map was is in fact based upon Mazza's extremely rare map of America, noting for example the unique presence of a large island off the coast of Virginia, which is depicted by Mazza, but not by Ortelius or other contemporary map makers. Arnoldi's map provides a noteworthy divergence from the cartography of the Mazza map along the Northwest Coast of America, where Arnoldi draws upon the the workd of Petrus Plancius' 1592 wall map of the World and from Arnoldi's own large scale wall maps of the world.

Arnoldi's map of America known in only one known state, although Hendrik van Schoel engraved a very similar map, which is known in a single example.