Porcacchi, Tomasso

Antique map of Majorca, Balearic Islands, Spain

Balearic Island of Majorca ( Mallorca ) , Spain

DESCRIPTION: Numerous fantastical sea monsters fill the empty spaces on this antique copperplate-engraved map of Majorca ( Mallorca ) , Spain the largest of the Balearic Islands. Majorca is nearly five times the size of its sister island Menorca. Majorca's history is closely tied to seafaring- the first people to colonize the island are believed to be Phonecian traders who arrived around the 8th century B.C.

This decorative old map was printed in 1686 in one of the last editions of Tomasso Porcacchi's "Isolario" or island book "L'Isol Piu Famose Del Mondo". This 1686 edition is differentiated from earlier versions in that: 1) it is the only edition where the maps are not set within printed text, and 2) the chart was re-engraved for this edition and the compass rose is less elaborate.

On the compass rose Porcacchi identifies eight points that correspond to the classical eight-point naming convention for Mediterranean winds that dates back at least 2000 years. The octagonal "Tower of the Winds" of the Roman Agora in Athens, Greece contains friezes on each wall depicting the principal wind deities and was once capped with a weathervane. Porcacchi's compass rose symbols: "T", "G", "+" , "S", "O", "L", "P", "M", correspond to the Italian names for the principal Mediterranean winds: Tramontana ( North ), Greco, Levante ( with a cross denoting East ), Sirocco, Ostro ( South ), Libeccio. Ponente ( West ), and Maestro. ( Taylor, E.G.R., "The Haven Finding Art: A History of Navigation from Odysseus to Captain Cook". New York. 1957 (pp. 6-8)

Scrollwork title cartouche labeled simply: "Maiorica". Noted points of interest include islands of Cabrera and Dragonara, along with the Majorcan headlands of Capo Salime, P. Colombo, Monacur, Capo della Prea, Capo Formentar, Capo Baiol. Noted habitations include Maiorica ( Palma ), Cala Figera, Aliendia, Soller, Palomera, and Prementor.

Ample margins. Later attractive hand-coloring.

CREATOR: Porcacchi, Tomasso



BODY OF WATER: Mediterranean

CONDITION: Good.  Clean and bright on chain laid paper without condition issues.

COLORING: Modern hand-coloring.


SIZE: 7 " x 5 "


PRICE: $325


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