Treccani presents the facsimile reproduction of the ms. Douce 390, preserved in the Bodleian Library in Oxford, containing an anonymous nautical atlas, datable between the end of the fourteenth century and the beginning of the fifteenth century, and of the case that contained the atlas from the beginning, marked as Douce 390 *.
The facsimile reproduces the Atlante Nautico made up of ten wooden tablets on which seven marine paper scrolls and two figured scrolls are glued. The closed manuscript measures 29x14.5 cm, the open plates measure 29x28 cm. Atlante Nautico Douce 390 produced in Venice between the last quarter of the fourteenth century and the first quarter of the fifteenth century represents a typical example of the Italian style that characterizes the nautical charts of that period, as stated by Piero Falchetta in the commentary accompanying the facsimile. The seven scrolls of marine maps that make up the atlas range from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean, even covering the British archipelago across the Channel. Also of extraordinary beauty are the tablets that make up the front and back plates, which have elegant inlaid decorations in ivory and wood, to form polygonal and starry figures in Moorish style.
It is also interesting to note how the devotional illustrations placed at the beginning and at the end of the atlas are totally separate from the maps. This makes the Douce 390 atlas unique compared to the works of the same type that have come down to us. A further peculiarity of the Venetian nautical atlas reproduced here is that it is still preserved today, which is very rare, in the case that contained it from the beginning, marked as Douce 390 * at the Bodleian Library, and which Treccani also chose to to reproduce.
It is a wooden casket covered with chiseled leather, decorated with floral motifs and three mottos in the vernacular. Considering the excellent state of conservation, therefore, it is believed that the Douce atlas was not intended for use on board, but was rather used in an administrative or ceremonial context. The refined decorations of this atlas and its case characterize it as a work of great value and interest.
The facsimile is accompanied by a commentary volume of over 100 pages containing an introduction by Andrew Dunning, an essay on medieval nautical cartography and a codicological sheet by Piero Falchetta and a contribution on the miniatures of the manuscript of Valentina Baradel. The commentary is also accompanied by 27 color plates.
The facsimile is printed with a 4-color stochastic screen plus warm gold on Stucco parchment paper by Cartiere Fedrigoni.
The covers of the atlas are in solid wood essence of lime tree with silk-screen inlay
Cialux fabric covering on the coast.
The facsimile is contained in a case, which reproduces the original one, with dry impressions on the plates and on the lid and extractor belt.
The edition is of 399 copies numbered from 1 to 399 and 10 out of number copies.
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