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An Important Early Map of Sardinia

Rare separately published map of Sardinia, by Giacomo Gastaldi and engraved by Fabricius Licinius.

Scarce map of Sardinia ascribed by Bifolco/Ronca to Gastaldi, and superbly engraved by Fabio Licinio.

Perini describes the map as a noteworthy progression in the history of the mapping of Sardinia ("Un progresso notevole per la cartografia generale della Sardegna").


We note two examples at auction in the past 50 years (Christies 2006 -- this example) and a damaged example at Reiss & Sohn.

The Lafreri School

The Lafreri School is a commonly used name for a group of mapmakers, engravers, and publishers who worked in Rome and Venice from ca. 1544 to 1585. The makers, who were loosely connected via business partnerships and collaborations, created maps that were then bound into composite atlases; the maps would be chosen based on the buyer or compiler’s interests. As the maps were initially published as separate-sheets, the style and size of maps included under the umbrella of the “School” differed widely. These differences can also be seen in the surviving Lafreri atlases, which have maps bound in with varying formats including as folded maps, maps with wide, trimmed, or added margins, smaller maps, etc.

The most famous mapmakers of the School included Giacomo Gastaldi and Paolo Forlani, among others. The School’s namesake, Antonio Lafreri, was a map and printseller. His 1572 catalog of his stock, entitled Indice Delle Tavole Moderne Di Geografia Della Maggior Parte Del Mondo, has a similar title to many of the composite atlases and thus his name became associated with the entire output of the larger group.

Bifolco/Ronca 146; Piloni S. 58.I; Novacco 121; Perini, Italia S. 125; Tooley #509; Lago I, p.283 & pl.51