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Description

Early photographic facsimile from the Edward Luther Stevenson collection of the Rosselli-Sonetti woodblock world map that appeared in the Sonetti Isolario of 1532.

Shirley (67A) writes of the map:

BARTOLOMMEO DA LI S0NETTI'S Isolario, with maps describing the Mediterranean and Aegean islands, was first printed at Venice in 1485. When reprinted in 1532 a world map was added which very closely follows Francesco Rosselli's oval world map of c.1508 (Entry 28). It is however from a woodblock rather than a copperplate and has lines of descriptive verse printed to the left and in five columns below the map. The text is headed Figura & Scrittura in soma di tutti lo habitato, concluding with the date 1532.

The woodblock is signed by Rosselli in a similar manner to the earlier copperplate, and the two maps may well have been prepared at approximately the same time. The geographical information presented on each map is identical, and for a good many years it was thought that Sonetti's publishers had adapted Rosselli's original. However, closer examination shows small but significant differences.

The Edward Luther Stevenson Collection

Edward Luther Stevenson was among the most important scholars of early cartography active at the end of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th. He was responsible for numerous cartobibliographic books, including the first translation of Ptolemy to English, as well as a series of impressive facsimile maps produced while he was at the Hispanic Society of New York. Dr. Stevenson viewed facsimiles as integral to the study of early cartography, and he committed himself to building an unparalleled collection of photographs of early maps and globes.  Much of his collection was donated to Yale University after his death (click on the title link above for about that), but the present item comes from a large collection of photos, manuscripts, and related material that were part of Stevenson's library, but were not donated to Yale. It is truly an impressive collection and many of the items, though reproductions, have serious antiquarian merit. As Alexander O. Vietor said about Stevenson collection that went to Yale "this is the stuff of which great libraries are made."

Condition Description
Silver gelatin print.
Reference
Shirley World 67(A)