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Benedetto Bordone (1460-1531) was a polymath who was born in Padua and worked in Venice. He was an illuminator, engraver, miniaturist, editor, and geographer. It is possible he made the first globe in Italy. His most famous work is the Isolario, or Book of Islands, which included many of the earliest printed maps of islands in the New World.

Bordone, a prominent Venetian manuscript editor, miniaturist, and cartographer, was born in Padua, a city that was then part of the Republic of Venice. Although his exact date of birth remains unknown, historical records indicate that his parents married in Padua in 1442, and he himself was married in 1480. Bordone's contributions to the field of cartography, particularly through his seminal work, Isolario, have cemented his legacy as a pivotal figure in the Renaissance cartographic tradition.

Bordone's most renowned work, Isolario (The Book of Islands), printed in Venice in 1528, is a comprehensive compilation that describes all the known islands of the world. The book offers detailed accounts of each island's folklore, myths, cultures, climates, geographical situations, and historical narratives. It stands as a testament to the popularity of the isolario genre in 15th and 16th century Italy and serves as an illustrated guide for sailors, incorporating the era's latest transatlantic discoveries.

One of the notable features of Isolario is an oval depiction of the world, a map type invented by Bordone. This innovation was later formalized into the equal-area elliptical Mollweide projection three centuries afterward. Bordone's map portrays a distorted view of the New World, showing only the northern regions of South America and depicting North America as a large island labeled Terra del Laboratore (Land of the Worker), a likely reference to the region's active slave trade during that period, which also influenced the name Labrador.

The book also contains the earliest known printed account of Francisco Pizarro's conquest of Peru, making it a significant historical document. Among the numerous woodcut maps included in Isolario, twelve are dedicated to the Americas. These maps feature a plan of "Temistitan" (Tenochtitlan, modern Mexico City) before its destruction by Hernán Cortés, and a map of Ciampagu, the earliest known European-printed map of Japan depicted as an island.

Benedetto Bordone's familial connections are also of interest; he is reputed to have been the father of Julius Caesar Scaliger, a noted classical scholar, and the grandfather of Joseph Justus Scaliger, who is recognized as the founder of the science of historical chronology. The original maps from Bordone's Isolario are highly valued today for their historical significance and intricate craftsmanship. Through his work, Bordone has left an indelible mark on the history of cartography, providing invaluable insights into the geographical knowledge and cultural perceptions of his time.

Place/Date:
Venice / 1534
Size:
15 x 9 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
105712
Place/Date:
Venice / 1534
Size:
6 x 6 inches and 6 x 3 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
105724
Place/Date:
Venice / 1534
Size:
15 x 11.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
105721

Archived

Place/Date:
Padua / 1528
Size:
13 x 9 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
11517
Place/Date:
Venice / 1528
Size:
15 x 9 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
15230
Place/Date:
Padua / 1528 (1534)
Size:
6 x 3.5 inches (plus text)
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
8065
Place/Date:
Padua / 1528
Size:
7 x 7 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
19696
Place/Date:
Venice / 1528
Size:
6 x 5 inches (and smaller)
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
25755
Place/Date:
Venice / 1528
Size:
6 x 3.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
26629
Place/Date:
Venice / 1528
Size:
15 x 11.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
29473
Place/Date:
Venice / 1528
Size:
15 x 9 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
31432
Place/Date:
Venice / 1528 (1547)
Size:
6 x 3 inches and 6 x 6
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
33209gm
Place/Date:
Venice / 1528
Size:
15 x 9 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
33287
Place/Date:
Venice / 1528
Size:
15 x 9 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
40385
Place/Date:
Venice / 1528 (1547)
Size:
6 x 3 inches and 6 x 6
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
40010se
Place/Date:
Venice / 1528
Size:
6 x 3 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
38796
Place/Date:
Venice / 1528
Size:
15 x 9 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
54598
Place/Date:
Venice / 1528
Size:
6 x 3 inches and 6 x 6 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
54912
Place/Date:
Venice / 1528 circa
Size:
6 x 3.5 inches (plus text)
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
58747
Place/Date:
Venice / 1528
Size:
15 x 9 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
64896
Place/Date:
Padua / 1528
Size:
13 x 9 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
65941
Place/Date:
Venice / 1528
Size:
15 x 11.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
94182
Place/Date:
Venice / 1528
Size:
Condition:
Stock#:
98897
Place/Date:
Venice / 1528
Size:
6 x 3.5 inches (plus text)
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
103795
Place/Date:
Venice / 1534
Size:
6 x 9 inches (and) 5.5 x 5.7
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
105713
Place/Date:
Venice / 1547
Size:
8 x 12 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
69232