Tuesday, May 2, 2017

A New Old Map.
I have just purchased this map that was printed in 1552, only eight years after the pirate siege.  I am afraid that I lost the bidding for the first one that included southern Italy. Darn!  But this one came up right after. You can see the islands at the top left, and southern Calabria at the top right.  I really could not afford this one.  It was nearly double the price of the first map, but it also included a ship on the bottom, which could be Vikings or even the pirate ships that had only recently devastated Lipari.  Extra motifs such as that really add to the value, and as a result, the price.  I have another early map on the hook, which is much more detailed, but also much too expensive.  Who knows, in six months, if the dog and I tighten our belts, we may get that as well.
I am collecting these, not so much for myself as for my family.  I certainly have no place to display them!  I am hoping that the Filicudi Associates will morph into an organization that will be able to have a permanent museum of Aeolian(Eolian) culture and immigration.  I just need to find the right people with a little cash and a sense of duty to their culture.  There are a number of great people in the organization...Perhaps we can do something.  If not, then these maps may go eventually to the museum in Lipari or on Salina, run by Marcello Saija.
It is amazing to think that I have been able to accumulate maps, now, that run from just a few years after the pirates decimated and enslaved the population right up through the period that my grandmother lived.  And imagine holding something in your hand, so close to our culture that was made at the end of the Renaissance!  
This is the one I just purchased.  Notice Sicily, Ustica, Africa and Malta.
Here is the seller's description:
De Italia Siciliae Insulae Totius Regni eius Descriptio...
Sicly- Sicilia
(Cosmographia Universalis)
Issued circa 1550, Basel, Switzerland by Sebastien Munster

A genuine rarity- a very early Munster wood engraved map with very old/ possibly original strong hand color!

Fine and very early printed image of this southern Italian Island- mid-16th century woodcut. Malta is named at lower right with a portion of the island depicted. Coastline of northern Africa seen across the bottom. Calabria Italy boot at top. Fine large row ship with sail at bottom.

With very old (possibly original) hand color. Very few examples of Munster's "Cosmographie" were ever hand colored, and of these few, very few loose examples of individual leaves such as this are ever encountered by a collector.
Image remains well preserved with a nice age patina. Some light age wear or surface spotting/ soiling which is visible within the scan. Normal wrinkling to hand-made paper surface as always for individual sheets of paper now almost 500 years old. Paper in the 1500's was all hand-made from pulped rags, so in theory it will last another 500 years without issue.
Sheet measures c.  13" H x  7 7/8" W.
Printed area measures c. 8 1/2 " H x  5 7/8" W
Tooleys Dictionary of Mapmakers, v. 3, p.296


This is the map that got away from me.  Though many of our ancestors came from Calabria and the southern part of Sicily, I have to be philosophical about my loss as the other map is so interesting.

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