Folio (500 x 357mm.),  ff. (letterpress title-page, dedication and explanations of plates), a total of 72 engraved plates (4 frontispieces, engraved arms of the dedicatee; 67 plates of ships, of which 25 double-page, 6 folding and double-page), red wax armorial stamp beside imprint on title-page, contemporary speckled calf, spine gilt in compartments, one plate with small tear just touching image, one double-page plate trimmed at edges, a few small marginal wormholes at beginning and end, several wormholes in boards, binding repaired at extremities
One of the great volumes of ship portraiture and design, celebrating the long-standing naval heritage of the Venetian Republic, by one of its greatest cartographers.
Coronelli's technical illustrations of ships are accompanied by more picturesque views of ships of various nations, and this volume includes a fine suite of plates depicting the much-heralded regatta held in honour of Ernst August, duke of Braunschweig-Lüneburg's visit in 1685, with the Venetian gondolas decked out in all their elaborate finery. Some of the engravings of the regatta are taken from Giovanni Matteo Alberti's Giuochi festivi e militari (Venice, 1686), celebrating the duke's visit to Venice, with plates by Dalla Via and others, but the long folding panorama along the Grand Canal has been replaced here by a double-page view of the regatta entering the Grand Canal by the church of S. Maria della Salute with the Giudecca in the background.
Three of the frontispieces have the heading "Gli Argonauti" and are dated in Venice in 1693; these refer to Coronelli's cosmographical society, the Accademia degli Argonauti, founded in the 1680s and which closed upon Coronelli's death in 1718.
very rare. Copies are recorded at the Biblioteca Marciana and Fondazione Querini-Stampalia in Venice, in Munich and at the University of Barcelona; a facsimile was published by the Banco San Marco in the 1980s. The contents of each copy are not consistent, as the copy Armao describes does contain the folding panorama along the Grand Canal. We have not traced another copy that has been offered at auction.
"Of all the items, this is my favourite; these are the most beautiful engravings in my collection. A wonderful mix of magnificent vessels, some imagined from antiquity, some from other Italian city states, as well as from Venice herself, with her proud marine tradition" (Benevento).
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