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An Early Chart of the North Pacific
& The Pacific Northwest
Pacific Ocean/ California/ Japan..
DUDLEY, R. [Florence, 1646]
Carta particolare della parte Orientale del Isola di Iezo.
18 ½ x 29 ½ inches.
Mended worming at upper centerfold, toning at centerfold, very good.
Rare first edition of Dudley’s chart of the northern Pacific, showing the southeastern coast of Iezo (Japan) and the Pacific northwest running from Cap Mendocino to the Columbia River. Wroth describes Dudley’s charting of the Pacific as “perhaps the most extravagant portrayal of the area” largely due to the distorted depiction of the island of Iezo on this chart. The fictional island is separated from California by only a strait of only six hundred miles.
Dudley's familial connections and interest in the sea put him in contact with royalty and the leading explorers of his age. He was the son of the Earl of Leicester, who was a paramour of Queen Elizabeth, and a friend of Sir Francis Drake whom he accompanied on a voyage to Cadiz. He was also the brother-in-law of Thomas Cavendish. When he left England for exile in Italy, Dudley became a courtier to the Medici Dukes. His maps reflect his advantageous position for they show that he had cartographic resources at his disposal unavailable to other mapmakers.
The chart offers splendid examples of the unique, ornate calligraphic style achieved by Dudley’s engraver, Lucini. A sailing ship and a beautiful compass rose complete the decoration of this elegant chart.
Not in Burden; Wroth, L. Early Cartography of the Pacific, no. 74, pp. 126-27. Layland, M. The Land of Heart's Delight: Early Maps and Charts of Vancouver Island p. 14.