is a rare opportunity to acquire an original antique
Globe Gores, a full
half, of South Africa published by Vincenzo
Maria Coronelli (1650 - 1718) in the 1693 Venice
edition of Atlante Veneto,
Libro dei Globi.
The Gore is printed on heavy clean cabled paper,
with 17th century water-mark, acquired by
us in a large collection some years ago.
I have included an image of the Western Hemisphere Gores
from Rodney Shirley's reference book "The Mapping of the
World" to give you a perspective of the gore.
In 1693 Coronelli published all his gores - from the 2in
to the 42 in - in an atlas,
Libero dei Globi,
part of the great series of atlases, Atlante Veneto.
Libero dei Globi
was published by Coronelli to ensure
his work was available to a
wider audience, as very few could afford travel to Venice, Rome or Paris to view
his completed globes.
Background: In the
early 1680ís Vincenzo Coronelli constructed two vast 15ft
diameter terrestrial & celestial globes for Louis XIV of
France. These were
meticulously hand drawn & engraved. Such was the admiration of
these Globes that in 1688 Coronelli began the engraving &
of Globe Gores for the construction of two
110cm (42in) terrestrial & celestial globes.
Coronellis claim to have produced the best globes of any age
was exemplified by the high demand and purchase of the globes
by various institutions & cities within Europe. Yet many
scholars still did not have the opportunity to visit Paris,
London, Rome or Venice to view them and so Coronelli devised
his famous atlas Libero dei Globi
the first atlas of globe
gores ever produced. The Libro formed part of a great
of atlases by Coronelli, the Atlante Veneto, in which Coronelli
was able to combine the two cartographic art forms in which he
excelled, maps & globes.
The engraving of the gores was of the highest standard with
neat contrasting lettering and five large cartouches of a
singular grace and elegance. One cartouche situated below Australia
carries a portrait of the author and Pope Alexander
Some of the more interesting features contained within the Gores are the
recording of recent French explorations in North America, such
as La Salles journey to the mouth of the Mississippi in
1681-87 & the French possessions within North America.
Elsewhere the Caspian Sea is drawn closer to its modern shape,
the Nile in Africa
is shown without its fictitious source and
the Blue Nile is shown correctly from a large lake in
Ethiopia. The tracks of Le Maire crossing of the Pacific in
1616 are marked, as is the voyage of Chaumont to Siam in
1685-6. There are an unusual number of legends, all
explanatory and informative along with many vignettes of ships
and fishing scenes throughout the globe.
Coronelli was one of the finest engravers &
cartographers of any era, producing some of the most
stunning work ever seen. These Globe Gores are no
exception. Coronelli was a master craftsman with an eye for detail. You
can feel the uncompromising accuracy & passion in his
work when you study his maps & globes.
These globe gores are scarce, with only a few sales
records from the last 25 years. Similarly there is very
little choice currently
on the market. This scarcity
ensures ongoing value and future appreciation.
Libero dei Globi
Over the years there has been confusion as to why there
are differences of cartographic information to some gores
published in Libero dei Globi. The answer I believe is
Each of the original 1688 copper-plates measured approximately
25 1/2in (650mm) in length from polar calotte to equator. The
total length of the paper for Libero dei Globi
was 19 1/2in (495mm). So rather than go through the
expensive exercise of re-engraving the copper-plates to a
reduced size Coronelli masked about 6 1/2 - 7in in (165 -
175mm) of each copper-plate so it would fit onto the atlas
It is not known why, either by fate or design, but in
different editions of Libero dei Globi
the plates were masked at the top of the plate and others
the plate was masked at the bottom. This meant that either
cartographic data was lost from the equatorial regions or from
the Polar regions. The masking also meant that a plate-mark is
only evident on three sides of the the gores, a unique way of
establishing originality. I tend to believe that the change in
masking was deliberate for obvious reasons.
To illustrate the point examine the two gores below.
Both are from the same copper-plate The one on the
right is masked at the pole with no plate-mark at the top and the other masked at
equator again with no plate-mark at the bottom. You therefore
have the complete original 1688 globe gore in two.
click images to enlarge
led to much confusion in the past, as we have very little
background information on Coronelli's printing methods
in regards to the gores.
(Ref: Shirley 538;
Helen Wallis The Map Collector Dec 1980;
Armao, Ermanno. Vincenzo
Coronelli Cenni sull'uomo e la sua Vita Catalogo...
Bibliopolis, Florence pp.130-134)
Paper thickness and
quality: - Heavy and stable
Paper color: - white
Age of map color: -
Colors used: -
General color appearance: -
Paper size: - 17in x 10 1/4in (415mm x 265mm)
Margins: - min. 1/4in (10mm)
Margins: - None
Plate area: - Several very small worm holes repaired
Verso: - None
If you wish to discuss this or any other item
please email or call - good luck, Simon.
61 (0) 409 551910 Tel