L’Art de naviguer de M. Pierre de Medine, Espagnol. Contenant toutes les reigles, secrets, & enseignemens necessaires a la bonne navigation. 

£10,000

L’Art de naviguer de M. Pierre de Medine, Espagnol. Contenant toutes les reigles, secrets, & enseignemens necessaires a la bonne navigation.

Lyon: Guillaume Rouillé, 1569, 4to (238 x 175 mm), Contemporary mottled calf, gilt decoration on covers, with an engraved folding world map with rhumb lines by N. de Nicolai, and 89 large and small woods in the text.

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Lyon: Guillaume Rouillé, 1569, 4to (238 x 175 mm), Contemporary mottled calf, gilt decoration on covers, with an engraved folding world map with rhumb lines by N. de Nicolai, and 89 large and small woods in the text.

Second edition in French; translated by Nicolas de Nicolai. The original edition was published in Spanish at Valladolid in 1545 under the title “Arte de Navegar”. Its appearance changed the course of navigation and redefined it in the century of discoveries (i.e. Sir Francis Drake carried a copy in his circumnavigation); it is considered the first practical treatise on navigation. The work is illustrated with  90 woodcuts in text, including a World map after Appian (pp. 38), a striking image of the vessels going to the Indies (pp. 24) and most importantly the folding map of the North Atlantic.

Medina´s map suffered several alterations from it’s first edition in 1545, this edition is considered amongst the best, the first to have compass rose, actually assisting navigation, it is one of the first portraying the North Atlantic, Gulf Stream, and the trade routes to and from Spain. “[Medina], who was with Cortes, may be said to have been the founder of the literature of seamanship.” (Church, 98); “The known parts of North America and the northern half of South America are depicted in surprisingly accurate form. Cartier’s incursion into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Cabot’s explorations of the eastern seaboard, and the coastal surveys of Vespucci in South America are all reflected. Europe and Western Africa are illustrated in fine engraved detail.” (Cf. Dorothy Sloan, 1989, 6-108).

It was subsequently reproduced in Cortes’ Breve compendio and Medina’s Regimiento de Navegacion in 1552. Medina (1493 – 1576) was a cleric appointed cosmografo de honor in 1549 by Emperor Charles the V, after having served as librarian to the Duke of Medina. The illustration comprehends 90 woodcuts in text and the folding map with rhumb lines of the Atlantic. “The French edition is now considered valuable on account of its map, on which are shown names of places on the coast of North America for the first time on any published map.” (Murphy, 1654a).

Polak 6581; Sabin 47345; Brunet III, 1573

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