Lot 143
  • 143

Doria Atlas.

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  • Doria Atlas.
[Italian composite atlas. Venice: Ferrando Bertelli, c. 1570, and later]


Giovanni Andrea Doria, Admiral (1539-1606) probably for whom this atlas was commissioned; Andrea II (1607-40) to Giovanni Andrea III (1653-1737); thence to Andrea IV Landi Pamphili (his monogram “ADLP” is printed on the recto of the first map); thence to Count Armand Doria, Count Emeric Huttan-Czapski, then his nephew Karol J. M. Godlewski in Canada, acquired by the British Railway Pension Fund in these rooms 15 April 1980, re-offered in these rooms in 27 September 1988, lot 78, purchased by Nico Israel, Amsterdam, for Lord Wardington

Catalogue Note

the doria atlas is one of the most important surviving records of italian map publishing from the dawn of modern cartography, an outstanding example of an early composite atlas, containing not only some of the rarest printed maps from the so-called “Lafreri school” of Italian mapmakers active from the 1540s to 1570s, and as such one of the finest examples of the type in private hands, but also preserving an important suite of scarce Italian broadsheet maps from the 1620s, supplemented with a number of equally significant manuscript maps reflecting the commercial and military interests and activities of the members of this influential family.

This “Atlas”, which is really two quite separate atlases brought together in the late 1620s, is believed to have been originally compiled for Giovanni Andrea Doria, circa 1570.

the doria family

The Doria family ranked high among the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Genoese nobility, during the time when Genoa itself was one of the most powerful commercial and maritime republics between which the Italian peninsula was divided. Six members of the family served as Doges of Genoa, while others had distinguished military careers in the Genoese and Spanish service, notably Andrea Doria (1467-1560), founder of the dynasty, his great nephew and heir Giovanni Andrea Doria (1539-1606), for whom the atlas was compilesd, and Giovanni’s son Carlo (1576-1625).

Andrea Doria was commander of the Genoese fleet, and later admiral in the service of Emperor Charles V, King of Spain, in his campaigns against Tunis in 1535 (one of the views in the atlas shows his troops landing there) and Algiers in 1541. Giovanni Andrea Doria succeeded him as commander of the Genoese fleet, and fought for the Spanish at the Battle of Lepanto; Carlo Doria served in the Spanish Army, and participated in the 1625 campaign against Savoy.

the doria atlas and sixteenth- and seventeenth-century italian cartography

The earliest modern printed “atlases” (the term was not coined for another hundred years) were editions of the geographical text of Claudius Ptolemaeus illustrated with maps based on his text, which was written in Alexandria about 150 AD In printing editions of Ptolemy, Italian publishers - or publishers based in Italy - led the way. All but one of the earliest editions originated in Italy (Bologna, 1477; Rome, 1478, with editions in 1490, 1507 and 1508; Florence, 1482 and Venice 1511). However, from this point, with a few exceptions, atlas publishing moved north of the Alps, and there is a hiatus in Italy from the 1520s until the 1680s.

That is not to say that map publishing in Italy declined. On the contrary, there was a remarkable flowering of Italian cartography from the 1540s onwards, based on the twin centres of Venice and Rome. Rather, the focus of these cartographers, engravers and publishers was on the production of loose sheet maps, rather than atlases. For ease of use, however, map-sellers started to bind the maps into volumes. However, as the many maps were all prepared to different sizes, this meant that the largest maps had to be folded, often many times, to fit, while the smaller maps had to have additional margins added, to make them the same size. Only one publisher, Antonio Lafreri (1512-1577), actually produced an engraved title-page for these composites and, as a consequence, collections of this type are colloquially known as “Lafreri Atlases”, and the group of mapmakers the “Lafreri School”. However, this is very much a misnomer. Antonio Lafreri (born Antoine Lafrère in Besançon, Burgundy) was a comparatively minor map-publisher. The leading figure of the time was undoubtedly the Piemontese cartographer Giacomo Gastaldi (c. 1500-1566), whose work provided the basis for many of the maps found in these composite collections.

If one can draw a distinction between the output of the two centres, the Roman publishers tended to be more insular in approach favouring maps of Italy, its regions, and its towns, augmented by a considerable output of “news-maps”, which dovetailed neatly with their principal role as print-sellers. The Venetian publishers, on the other hand, had a much wider geographical interest, and were largely responsible for the majority of maps of the countries north of the Alps, and particularly of pan-European regions.

The Doria Atlas is clearly a Venetian compilation. Of those maps that can be attributed to one or other of the centres, 101 originated in Venice and only eight in Rome, while the predominance of maps by Ferrando Bertelli suggests that it was assembled in his print shop, quite probably in 1570, the latest date found on any of the maps, which would make the atlas a relatively early example.

The “Lafreri School” represents the first systematic post-Ptolemaic attempt to map - or re-map - the known world. While map-makers had already begun surveying their particular areas, in no other country at the time was there such a range and depth of practitioners. One of the most important consequences of this cartographic renaissance was that it laid the foundations for the regular atlases by Ortelius, De Jode and Mercator that appeared a generation later. So it is not an exaggeration to suggest that collections such as the Doria Atlas represent the birth of modern cartography in Europe.

Today there survive about seventy such examples, for the most part in institutional collections. Several examples in private hands have been dispersed and their individual maps resold.

The Doria Atlas contains some of the most important, as well as some of the rarest, maps published by members of this school, including Gastaldi’s maps of the world (no. 5), Spain (18), Sicily (83) and the parts of Asia (114, 116 and 118), as well as Tramezini’s Portugal (20), Zaltieri’s North America (108) and Forlani’s South America (109). The atlas also preserves a number of scarce broadsheet maps originating from north of the Alps, including Hirshvogel’s Moscovy (39), the two Lazius maps of Austrian provinces (50 and 52), Fabricius’s wall-map of Moravia (49) as well as the unique example of Corsulensis’s wall-map of Spain published in Venice.

If the Doria Atlas is an important record of Italian publishing from the Lafreri period, equally as remarkable is the additional suite of very rare broadsheet maps inserted in the volume in the 1620s and 1630s, and subsequently rebound as a second volume. A member (or members) of the family accumulated a sequence of separately published “news maps” by little-known Italian publishers from the 1620s and 1630s, many of which relate to the military and political interests of the Doria family, and their lands in Italy, supplemented with contemporary manuscripts on similar subjects. There is also an important collection of maps relating to the later French Wars of Religion, including the outstanding four sheet map of the siege of La Rochelle in 1628, made famous as the backdrop to Dumas’s Three Musketeers.

this important act of cartographic preservation provides an outstanding compilation of maps from what is a much overlooked and little understood period of italian cartographic history.

watermarks and paper

In the Doria Atlas forty-nine maps show a watermark with a siren within a circle surmounted by a star (Heawood 3800; Beans 33) and 3 others show a siren within a shield (Beans 36). The paper is used for the extension of six maps. Beans describes this paper as Venetian; within the Doria Atlas this paper is found on maps by Bertelli, Forlani, Camocio and Licinius, all Venetian publishers, but also on two maps published by Duchetti who, although Roman in origin, is believed to have been working in Venice at this time.

Of the other watermarks a ladder in a shield with or without a star (Beans 5 and Heawood 3) appears twenty times, a tree in shield (Beans 30, with four variants) nineteen times and a pilgrim (Beans 38) eleven times. A small number of sheets have a variety of watermarks of crossed arrows and anchors.

The paper used for mounting and extending the margins has resisted identification, and is of a trotting horse within a circle surmounted by a star. This appears only once on a map, on the left hand sheet of the Cimerlinus world map (the right hand sheet has the siren) but appears no less than sixty-one times in the margins of forty-three other maps.

The paper used for the end-leaves and paste-downs has a watermark of a hand and star (flower) apparently Heawood 2459, which he describes as Genoese, from the late sixteenth century. Anthony Hobson has suggested that the original vellum binding was possibly Genoese rather than Venetian, which would accord with this watermark evidence, and which may imply that the watermark of the horseman, used to make the sheets to uniform size, may also be Genoese.

selected maps from the doria atlas
Numbers refer to foliation in the atlas; a full list is given in Appendix II

Volume I

1. World--Fine, Oronce. Cosmographia universalis ab Orontio olim descripta. loannes Paulus Cimerlinus Veronesis in aes incidebat. [Venice]: Giovanni Paolo Cimerlinus, 1566, 516 x 585mm., lower margin shaved and with light stain

an unusual cordiform (heart-shaped) projection; based on Fine's map published in Paris, 1536, which is recorded in two examples.

Tooley 19; Shirley, Mapping of the World 116; Meurer, map 1

2. World--Gastaldi, Giacomo. Universali descrittione di tutta la terra. [Venice]: Ferrando Bertelli, 1565, 438 x 772mm.

Based on Gastaldi's oval world map (1546) but with a southern continent stretching across the entire base of the map. State 2, with Bertelli’s imprint and date inserted. The dating of this state is debated on the basis of whether the final digit of the date reads “3” or “5”, Woodward and Shirley reading the date as 1565.

Tooley 11; Shirley, Mapping of the World 115; Woodward, 35.02

3. World--Gastaldi, Giacomo. Cosmographia universalis et exactissima iuxta postremam neotericorum traditionem. Venetijs calendis Maij MDLXIX ad signum Pyramidis. Venice: Giovanni Francesco Camocio, 1569, wall map, 622 x 1030mm., on four sheets joined, restored

The largest world map to be found in Italian composite atlases, on an oval projection, showing the Strait of Anian separating Asia from North America. Engraving of the cartouches is attributed to Niccolo Nelli, whose monogram can just be made out near the dedication cartouche, while Woodward attributes the engraving of the body of the map to Forlani.

Tooley 20 (locating four examples only); Shirley, Mapping of the World 117, state 2; Woodward, 66.02; Karrow, 30/93.2

4. World--Monte, Urbano. Mapamondo. Milan: Urbano Monte, 1603, 482 x 484mm.

Map on a conical projection, with a dedication to Don Federico Landi, dated 2 August 1603. It was intended as an index map to Monte's 64-sheet world map. This is a later insertion, tipped in on the stub of the following item, possibly at the time of the intermarriage of the Doria and Landi families in 1627.

Almagia, “Un prezioso cimelio della cartographia italiana il planisfero di Urbano Monte” in La Bibliofilia, 43 (1941), 156-193; Shirley, Mapping of the World, 239, noting two examples of this state

5. World--Gastaldi, Giacomo. Universale. Venice, 1546, 372 x 528mm., inlaid

The world on an oval projection. This was one of the most influential maps of the sixteenth century.

Tooley 3; Shirley, Mapping of the World, 85; Karrow, 30/3

7. Mediterranean--Homem, Diego. La carta del navigare… dell’Europa, et parte dell’Africa, et dell’Asia secondo l'uso de naviganti. Venice: Paulo Forlani, 1569, 495 x 821mm., 2 sheets joined

first state of the first sea chart to be engraved on copper. The Homems were an important Portuguese family of portolan chart-makers. Diego was forced to flee Portugal and settled in Venice, where his chart of the Mediterranean world, with the north-western coasts of Europe, came into the hands of Forlani, who engraved it for publication.

Tooley 34; Woodward, 81.01; Nordenskiold, Periplus, pl.XXVIII (ill.); Meurer, map 3, a later state

12. Iceland--De Islandia insula… apud Camocium. [Venice]: Giovanni Francesco Camocio, [c.1570], 254 x 175mm.

This plate is not recorded by Tooley, it is the second state with Camocio’s name inserted.

13. Ireland--Hibernia sive Irlanda… apud Camocium. [Venice]: G.F. Camocio, [c.1570], 247 x 174mm., inlaid

This plate is not recorded by Tooley; it derives from Lily's map of the British Isles (1546).

16. British Isles--Lily, George. Britanniae insulae quae nunc Angliae et Scotiae regna continet cum Hibernia adiacente nova descriptio. Rome: Sebastiano di Re, 1558, 399 x 542mm., inlaid

a fine impression. This edition follows Lily’s original more closely than others and, unlike the previous map, has north on the right-hand side of the sheet.

Tooley 271; Shirley, British Isles I, 63 (pl.32)

19. Spain--Corsulensis, Vincentus. Hispania. Venice: [?Matheo Pagano], 1551, woodcut wall-map, 960 x 930mm., on four sheets and two half sheets, good margins, skilful restoration

an important wall-map, recorded only in this single example, prior to 1980 known only through the reference by Ortelius in his “Catalogus auctorum” to Corsulensis as author of a map of Spain published by Matteo Pagano. Schilder describes its place in the history of the mapping of Spain.

Schilder, Monumenta Cartographica Neerlandici, II, pl.68, notes, and pl.69 (detail), locating only this example; R. Gallo. “Fra Vincenzo Paletino da Curzola et la sua carta della Spagna” in Atti della Academia Classe di Science Morali, Storiche et Filographie, 344 (1947), 259-267 (describes another map by Corsulensis)

20. Portugal--Seco, Fernando Alvares. Lusitania… Rome: Michele Tramezzini, 1561, 350 x 665mm.

The first “modern” map of Portugal, and the only one recorded by Tooley. The map was engraved by Sebastiano di Re, the title from punch lettering stamped into the plate, and dedicated to Cardinal Guido Sforza by the Portuguese humanist Aquiles Estaço (Achilles Statius). A remarkably accurate map, it served as a prototype for maps of Portugal for the next hundred years. Some discussion of a survey from which it was probably made is given by Gonzalo de Reparaz Ruiz in Imago Mundi, 7 (1951).

Tooley 456

29. Holland--[Deventer, Jacob van] Hollandiae Batavorum veteris insulae et locorum adiacentium exacta descriptio. [Venice]: Bolognini Zaltieri, 1567, 500 x 382mm.

fine impression, good margins. Engraved by Girolamo Olgiato after the map by van Deventer first published in 1546, this state bearing Zaltieri’s imprint.

Tooley 302

30. Gelderland--[Deventer, Jacob van]. Gelriae, Cliviae, nee non aliarum regionum adiacentium nova descriptio. Venice, G.F. Camocio, 1563, 490 x 386mm., with manuscript addition “Navilio de Spinola”

fine impression, good margins. Engraved by Paolo Forlani after the nine-sheet map of Gelderland by van Deventer published in 1556. An issue of this map dated 1563 appeared without Camocio's name indicating that Forlani probably engraved and published it first on his own account, and then passed it to Camocio. This is perhaps one of the clearer examples of the co-operation between the Italian engraver-publishers during this period.

Tooley 234; Woodward 21.02

47. Bohemia--[Klaudyan, Mikulas] Bohemiae nova et exacta descriptio. [Venice]: Bolognino Zaltieri, [1566?], 470 x 640mm., on two sheets, old repair to short surface tears

good margins. The only separate map of Bohemia recorded by Tooley, a derivative of the first printed map of Bohemia, itself recorded in but a single example.

Tooley 138

50. Austria and the upper Rhine--Lazius, Wolfgang. Ducatus juraemontis comita suntgoviae landgraviat edelsassiae / Marcha boiorum - marcha orientalis quae et Austria. [Vienna], 1545, 315 x 445mm., inlaid

Wolfgang Lazius (1514-1565) was author of the first printed atlas of Austria, Typi chorographici prouin: Austriae cum explicatione published in 1561. This pair of maps, on one plate, can be dated from a reference in a letter from Lazius to Bishop Friedrich Nausea of 3 October 1545, but were not used in the atlas. The only other recorded example of the sheet is that from the Lloyd-Triestino atlas. The map is reproduced by Florio Banfi in his article on the maps of Lazius (Imago Mundi, 15, 62-65).

56. Italy--Bertelli, Ferrando. Italia novamente posta in luce. Venice: Ferrando Bertelli, 1565, 390 x 566mm., on two sheets, good margins

Tooley 333; Borri, Italy 39

72. Naples--Ziletti, Giordano. Regno di Napoli. Venice: Alla libraria della Stella, 1557, 334 x 463mm.

the earliest map of the naples region recorded by tooley, and one of the first printed maps of any part of southern italy.

Tooley 401; Almagia, Mon. Ital. Cart., p. 31; Bonacci, “Note intorno a Pirro Ligorio e alia cartografia napoletana” in  Atti del V. Congresso Geografico Italiano (Naples, 1905), pp.8-13

75. Elba--Ilba sive Ilva insula. [Venice, c. 1560], 300 x 206mm., inlaid

rare map of elba, set in a wide engraved frame.

Not in Tooley; the same plate as the Lloyd Triestino example, which he lists incorrectly under entry 196

76. Corsica--Gastaldi, Giacomo. L'isola di Corsica. Venice: Fabio Licinius, [c.1556], 309 x 212mm.

Licinius worked for Gastaldi between 1556 and 1565. Corsica was a Genoese possession in the sixteenth century until France, in alliance with the Turks, took the island in 1553.

Tooley 168

79. Malta--Gastaldi, Giacomo. Isola de Malta. La detta isola e discosta dall'isola de Sicilia sesanta miglia verso ostro. [Venice]: Fabius Licinius, [c. 1550], 305 x 205mm.

this is among the scarcest of gastaldi's printed maps. Although there is some doubt about its date, the relatively primitive outline suggests an early date, preceding the Turkish attack. Engraved by F. Licinius.

Tooley 371; Meurer, map 43

81. Malta--Nelli, Nicolo. Il Porto dell' isola di Malta. Venice: Nicolo Nelli, 1565, 395 x 315mm.

wide blank margins. This map depicts the end of the first phase of the siege, when the Turks captured Fort St Elmo commanding the entrances to Grand Harbour and Marsamuscetto (23 June). This is the fourth state of the plate identified by Ganado, which was successively revised and updated as the siege progressed. Ten Turkish galleys have been engraved within “Porto di marso mosetto” and the Turkish attack on “La Sengle” (Senglea) is shown, with ten “Barconi” inserted, and the defenders shown firing back.

Tooley 366; Ganado, 6 (pl.6: the Lloyd Triestino/Ganado example)

86. Eastern Mediterranean--[Untitled map of the Eastern Mediterranean]. Venice, 1570, 393 x 532mm., inlaid

A rare and influential map; although apparently complete in itself, it is possibly part of a larger map, although the three recorded examples are found separately.

Tooley 37 recording only the BL example; Meurer 94 (ill.)

92. Greece--Gastaldi, Giacomo. Descrittione della geografica moderna di tutta la Grecia. Venice: Giovanni Francesco Camocio 1566, 487 x 683mm., on two sheets

good margins. A derivative of Gastaldi's prototype map of Greece, first published in 1560. Woodward attributes the engraving to Paolo Forlani.

Tooley 287 (locating three examples only); Woodward 53; Karrow 30/88.1; Zacharakis pl.90

93. Corfu--[Forlani, Paolo] L'Isola di Corfu. [Venice]: Ferrando Bertelli, 1564, 376 x 270mm.

wide blank margins. A feature of the map is the exaggerated depiction of the fortress of Corfu.

Tooley 165; Woodward, 27

94. Crete--[Cartaro, Mario] Haec est illa insignis insula Creta. [Venice: Paolo Forlani, 1570], 218 x 316mm., wide blank margins, verso with offset from a map of Cyprus (Tooley 183)

Not in Tooley; Woodward 87, attributing the engraving to Forlani

99. Africa--[Gastaldi, Giacomo] La descrittione dell'Africa. Venice: Paulo Forlani, 1562, 439 x 599mm., on two sheets joined

Although Gastaldi's name does not appear on this map it is clearly by him, probably taken from the large map of Africa painted by him on the wall of the Doge's Palace in Venice.

Tooley 67; Woodward 10.01; Karrow 30/98.1 (notes); Meurer map 116 (ill.)

105. Cyprus--[Forlani, Paolo] Cyprus jnsula nobilissma. Venice: Giovanni Francesco Camocio, 1566, 262 x 401mm., inlaid

Tooley 183; Woodward 48, attributing the engraving to Forlani; Stylianou 30 (fig.36)

108. North America--[Forlani, Paolo] II disegno del discoperto della nova Franza. Venice: Bolognini Zaltieri, 1566, 270 x 394mm., inner margin slightly obscured by guard, other margins good, slight loss by adhesion, map offset on verso (Cremona)

one of the most important maps in the history of american pacific coast cartography. it is one of the earliest separate 'modern' depictions of north america and the earliest dated map extant showing the separation of the continents of asia and america. It is derived from the western half of Gastaldi's world map of 1565 and it shows the Strait of Anian, a misinterpretation of Marco Polo, which was happily placed where later exploration proved the Bering Strait to be. Second state with Zaltieri’s imprint inserted in the title cartouche.

Tooley 80; Woodward 37.02; Burden 33 (pl.33); Meurer 191 (ill.); Wroth, Early Cartography of the Pacific, 154-158: Nunn, Origin of the Strait of Anian Concept, 1929

109. South America--Forlani, Paolo. La descrittione di tutto il Peru. Venice: Paolo Forlani, [c.1562], 513 x 370mm.

The first large scale map printed map of South America, a significant improvement on existing maps. Many place names and rivers can be readily identified. Woodward dates it early in Forlani’s career, so it surprising that later cartographers, such as Ortelius, did not adopt Forlani’s delineation.

Tooley 93; Woodward 11; Meurer 190 (ill.)

114. Middle East--Gastaldi, Giacomo. La descrittione della prima parte dell'Asia. [Rome]: Antonio Lafreri, 1561, 430 x 739mm., on two sheets joined

Roman version of Gastaldi’s important map of the Middle East, engraved by Jacob Bos.

Tooley 48

116. Arabia--Gastaldi, Giacomo. Il disegno della seconda parte dell'Asia. Venice, 1561, 479 x 740mm., on two sheets joined, right hand margin shaved just affecting gradation

The original Venetian version of Gastaldi’s map of Arabia and southern Middle East, extending from Egypt to the mouth of the Indus.

118. South-East Asia--Gastaldi, Giacomo. Il disegno della terza parte  dell'Asia. Venice: Giacomo Gastaldi, 1561 [& Ferrando Bertelli, c.1566], 627 x 732mm., on two sheets and 2 half sheets joined

The original Venetian version of Gastaldi’s map of South-East Asia and the Far East. This example has the additional half sheets which extend the coverage southwards into the East Indies, which bear the Bertelli family shop address.

Tooley 61; Woodward 36, attributing the engraving of the half sheets to Forlani

Volume II

119. La Rochelle--Bassano, C. Pianta della citta della Rocella. (Letterpress) Milan: G.B. Colonna, 1628, engraved plan with letterpress description below, small hole affecting text and another touching margin of plate, typographical border shaved

121. Mantua--La fortissima citta di Mantua assediata… 1629. [Italy]: V. Serena and L. Timani, [1629], engraved bird’s-eye plan, creased

In December 1627 the last Gonzaga heir to Mantua died. The French claimant, the Duke of Nevers, occupied part of the Duchy. An imperial army laid siege to Mantua in 1629, which fell the following year.

124. Lyon--Maupin, S. Untitled view of Lyon. (Letterpress) Lyons: A. Travers, 1625, large engraved view on three sheets joined, with letterpress “Description de la ville de Lyon” attached, some stains and tears, repair to letterpress with slight loss

165. Piedmont and MonferratRainaldi, G.L. Il Piemonte con il Monferrato. Milan: G.L. Rainaldi, 1615, engraved map, partly coloured, trimmed close to side borders

171. Verrua Savoia--Barca, Giuseppe. Campo del Re Cattolico sotto Verrua. Milan, G.P. Bianchi, 1625,  engraved plan, short marginal chips

172. Montferrat--P., F. [monogram] Manuscript map showing Genoa and Alessandria and the region to the west as far as Albenga. [17th century], coloured to show territorial divisions, descriptive key at bottom, two sheets joined, one small wormhole

188. Barcelona--Miotte, P. Nova e vera descrittione della citta di Barcelona assediata del'Armata di Sa. Maesta Cattolica. Rome, 1652, engraved view with integral key, split in fold and detached with slight loss but repaired

191. Reali Stati dei Presidii--Finely executed manuscript map in pen and ink. [before 1640], showing Orbetello and the coast as far north as Talamone with the islands of Gigli(o), Gianuti(n), Ercole and Lampedosa, dedicated to “Illmo. et Excmo, Prini. Ioanni Andree Aurie Orbitellum delineatum Dicat. Leonardus de Ferrariis”, brown wash border

After the fall of the Republic of Siena in 1557 most of its territories were incorporated into Tuscany, except for the area shown in this map which was retained by Spain until 1713, and known as the Reali Stati dei Presidii. The map is dedicated to Giovanni Andrea Doria, presumably admiral of the Imperial fleet depicted. Orbetello is being beseiged by a French army from the landward side.

From the Wardington Catalogue:

“Before the acquisition of this copy I had seen a poor copy in London and another in 1967 at Sotheby’s – The Harley Drayton copy. Before that I had seen a copy in Paris. I had also received the catalogue from Kraus of the Lloyd-Triestino atlas, so close in make-up to this that no less than seventy maps are common to both. He found it to be of such importance and value that, after failing to find a buyer, he split it up and sold the maps separately, which was a tragedy… But I didn’t do anything about them. I merely drooled at the thought. However in 1979 with the appearance of this atlas I tried to think of various ways of acquiring it that made sense… I examined it closely and marvelled at it before the sale. It was eventually bought for £150,000 by the British Rail Pension Fund… Later still, after hearing of the George Beans/Henry Stevens copy from Coolie Verner I wrote asking if he (Beans) would be interested in selling his copy… he wrote back that he would but I never followed it up. When I later saw it in Chicago after Ken Nebenzahl had bought it I regrettably didn’t like it – there were too many town plans and only one world map, and it was a later Rome issue.

“When in September [1988] I saw the Pension Fund were selling their Doria Atlas again I thought that we must do something about acquiring this important atlas, and if successful, to sell sufficient books to pay for it… what a thrill it has been for all of us [the family]. Nordenskiöld considered that his copy of the Lafreri atlas (I think it was he who really coined the name) was the most valuable atlas he owned. It is I think far inferior to this copy and perhaps on a par with the Beans/Stevens copy as to date and contents. And his copy of the 1477 was nothing like as good as many others. So unlike him I can’t say that this is the most valuable atlas in the collection although I would like to, as it cost the most. I think this particular ‘first’ must go to the 1477 Ptolemy which is almost faultless. What it lacks it makes up for in perfection. It joins many of the other Atlases… and I just hope that it and they will prove to be as good an investment in the future as I might have made in stocks and shares” (Wardington Catalogue).