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Boldly Engraved, Elegant Chart of Southwest Africa
South Africa/ Namibia.
DUDLEY, R. [Florence, 1646]
Carta particolare che comincia con il c.apo Aldea e Finisce con il capo Degortam.
18 ¾ x 14 ½ inches
A magnificent strike of this attractive chart of the African coast extending from Angola to the southern border of modern day Namibia. The chart features a beautifully engraved ship and compass rose, and is further embellished by Lucini’s renowned calligraphic engraving.
Dudley was one of the most colorful figures among early mapmakers. He was the illegitimate son of Robert Dudley, Earl of Essex, one time paramour of Elizabeth I. This and other familial connections and an interest in the sea put the younger Dudley in contact with the leading explorers of his age, including Drake and Cavendish. However, not able to secure a position commensurate with his abilities in England due to the circumstances of his birth, Dudley made his way to Florence, where he became a valuable courtier to the Medicis and supervised several important engineering projects. His charts reflect both the advantages of his background as well as his technical skills.