[Portolan Chart of the Mediterranean]

Method Manuscript
Artist Oliva, Joan
Published Joan Riczo alias oliva fillo de mastro dominico Riczo alias oliva fecit carta nauticatoria in napolle adi 2 de frebaro ano domini 1586. [Naples, 1586]
Dimensions 860 x 460 mm
Notes A superb late-sixteenth century portolan chart of the Mediterranean Sea, hand inked in black, red, and green on vellum and heightened with silver and gold. The map is oriented with the Iberian peninsula, Straits of Gibraltar, and Northwest coast of Africa at top, facing the nape of the skin, which has been embellished with a large illustration of Christ on the Cross. The coasts of the Mediterranean are annotated with place names, and the islands of the Mediterranean, particularly the Balearics, Sicily, and Cyprus are heavily outlined. Seven large compass roses are positioned across many of the intersections of the charts numerous rhumb-lines, and principal cities are shown pictorially, either flying the flags of their relevant Christian kingdoms, or in the case of Islamic cities, a black crescent on a red field. Jerusalem features a prominent illustration of the hill of Golgotha, with the black cross of Christ flanked by the crosses of the thieves in red. The red sea is washed with red ink, and along the left hand side of the map, inland from the North African coast, are illustrations of a lion, an elephant, a pair of camels, and a monkey in a palm tree.

Joan Oliva (fl.1570-1614) was an Italian cartographer, and a scion of the Oliva family, a dynasty of mapmakers who specialised in portolan charts, cornering the market for most of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and running studios in Italy, Malta, Sicily, and Marseilles.

Condition: Small chips to edges of sheet, particularly at bottom. Old vellum overlaid repair to nape of sheet.
Framing framed
Price £200,000.00
Stock ID 47832