Anglia et Hibernia Nova

Method Copper engraved
Artist Porro, Girolamo after Ruscelli, Girolamo
Published [Venice, 1562]
Dimensions 187 x 260 mm
Notes A map of the British Isles, from Ruscelli's La Geografia di Claudio Tolomeo Alessandrino, one of a number of sixteenth century editions of Ptolemy's Geographia. The map, one of two of the British Isles from Ruscelli's atlas, was first printed in 1561 as a counterpart to his map of Ptolemaic Britain, this example showing contemporary geographic and cartographic knowledge of the islands. Place names are given in Latin, and, unlike most other maps of the period, predominantly focus on cathedral cities, rather than places of political or mercantile importance. For example, Ely is labelled but Cambridge is not. Likewise, on the European mainland Mont Saint-Michel, Amiens, Antwerp, and others, are shown. This particular example is the first state of the map, used by the Venetian publishers Vicenzo Valgrisi and Giordano Ziletti until 1574. In 1598, the heirs of Melchior Sessa reworked the plate to include sea monsters, and a sailing ship to the west of the Hebrides.

Ruscelli's Ptolemaic atlas was in essence an expanded edition of Gastaldi's Atlas of 1548, the most comprehensive atlas produced between Martin Waldseemüller's Geographiae of 1513, and the Abraham Ortelius Theatrum of 1570. Ruscelli and Gastaldi's maps were beautifully engraved on copper, marking a turning point in the history of cartography. From that point forward, the majority of cartographic works used this medium. As it was a harder material than wood, it gave the engraver the ability to render far more detail and also facilitated the printing of more numerous copies from a single plate. Gastaldi sought the most up-to-date geographical information available, making the modern maps in Ruscelli's Geographia among the best modern maps of the period.

Ptolemy (c. AD 100-170) was a Greek native of the Egyptian city of Alexandria, and a Roman citizen. Little is known about his life, but he is credited as the author of numerous works of mathematics, engineering, astronomy, astrology, philosophy, and geography. His most famous works were the Almagest, the Geography, and the Tetrabiblion, a triad that essentially formed the basis of Byzantine, Arabic, and European science for the next thousand years. The Geography in particular had a very long reach, being reprinted numerous times in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Its most famous advocate was Columbus, who used a manuscript of the Geography to plot his western course for Asia, in the journey that resulted in the discovery of America. The work was also a major inspiration, and cartographic resource, for Munster, Mercator, and Ortelius.

Girolamo Ruscelli (c.1504-1566) was an Italian publisher, editor, translator, and geographer, best known for his edition of Ptolemy's Geographia, which featured numerous enlarged maps based on the earlier Ptolemaic maps of Gastaldi.

Girolamo Porro (c. 1520-1604) was an Italian engraver active in Venice and his native Padua, working predominantly as a map engraver for Tommaso Porcacchi, and Girolamo Ruscelli.

Condition: Strong, crisp impression. Central vertical fold as issued. Minor staining and small tear repair to central fold. Latin text on verso. Framed in an antique black frame.
Framing framed
Price £500.00
Stock ID 44064