Rare early map of Gotland, engraved by Ferrando Bertelli in about 1560 in Venice.
The map illustrates the important Swedish island of Gotland.
From the Middle Ages, Gotland was a commercial center, with the town of Visby the most important Hanseatic city in the Baltic Sea.[ In late medieval times, the island had twenty district courts (tings), each represented by its elected judge at the island-ting, called landsting.
The city of Visby and rest of the island were governed separately, and a civil war caused by conflicts between the German merchants in Visby and the peasants they traded with in the countryside had to be put down by King Magnus III of Sweden in 1288. In 1361, Valdemar Atterdag of Denmark invaded the island. About 1,500 Gotlandic farmers were killed by the Danish invaders after massing for battle at Mästerby.
The Victual Brothers occupied the island in 1394 to set up a stronghold as a headquarters of their own in Visby. At last, Gotland became a fief of the Teutonic Knights, awarded to them on the condition that they expel the piratical Victual Brothers from their fortified sanctuary. An invading army of Teutonic Knights conquered the island in 1398, destroying Visby and driving the Victual Brothers from Gotland. In 1409, Grand Master Ulrich von Jungingen of the Teutonic Knights guaranteed peace with the Kalmar Union of Scandinavia by selling the island of Gotland to Queen Margaret of Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
The authority of the landsting was successively eroded after the island was occupied by the Teutonic Order, then sold to Eric of Pomerania and after 1449 ruled by Danish governors.
The map is rare on the market. This is the first example we have ever seen.