…nella quale si Contengono la Descrittione dell’ Africa, & del paese del Prete Ianni, con varii Viaggi, dalla citta di Lisbona, & dal Mar Rosso a Calicut, & infin ‘all’ Isole Molucche, dove nascono le spetiere, et la Navigatione attorn oil Mondo..
Venice, Vol. 1: 1588; Vol.2: 1583; Vol.3: 1565, 3 Volumes, Folio [330 x 240mm], Early tan calf, gilt decorated spines, gilt edges, with 3 double-page maps in volume I, 7 folding plates and maps in vol.III, with numerous other engravings throughout, some double-page, superb copy.
Ramusio’s work is one of the earliest and certainly one of the most important collection of travellers’ accounts, with the map of the western hemisphere, the most complete of its time.
“This is one of the earliest and most important collections of voyages and travels and may be said to have opened a new era in the literary history of voyages and navigation. This work… was the first great systematic collection that had so far appeared” (Hill 1418). Considered the greatest Geographer of his time.
The first volume primarily concerns with Africa and southern Asia. The second is concerned with Central Asia, Russia, and the Northern Seas, while the third volume is entirely devoted to America, and includes accounts of Peter Martyr, Oviedo (whose book XX is published here for the first time), as well as Cortes, Cabeza de Vaca, Guzman, Ulloa, Coronado, Fray Marcos di Niza, Xerez, Verrazano and Cartier. The final section comprises the first general publication of Cartier’s Canadian experiences.
Accounts of Marco Polo, Niccolò Da Conti and Magellan are also included. The illustrations include many flora and fauna from the New World depicting plants and herbs, including cacti and Atlantic dolphin. There are also several woodcuts of Indian customs. The map of the Western Hemisphere, a result from his collaboration with Oviedo, is the most complete of its time (also depicting Japan as a group of islands).
The Newfoundland and Hochelanga maps, which resulted from Cartier’s explorations, are similarly key in the cartographic history of Canada.
“Ramusio, who truly earned the sobriquet of the Italian Hakluyt, was pre-eminent as an editor; he handled his material with great skill and produced a collection of unique value” (Penrose, Travel and Discovery in the Renaissance, 1420-1620, p.306).
Borba De Moraes, pp.698-99; Church 99; Cox p.28; Sabin 67735, 67738, 67740.
Provenance: Ham Court Bookplate