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Malta by Vincenzo Coronelli. 1696

The map is surrounded by 63 armorials of the Grand Masters of the Knights of Malta.

The Knights of Malta were initially founded as the Knights Hospitallers, a quasi-military order helping pilgrims in the Holy Land. Forced to leave after the failure of the crusades, the order moved from island to island in the Mediterranean before arriving in Malta in 1530. There they established their base, and from here, they campaigned against the Barbary Pirates, earning the wrath of the Ottoman Sultan. In 1565, the Sultan sent a force of some 40,000 men to capture Malta, but the order managed to hold out until relief came. When the replacement city was built, it was named Valetta after the Grand Master who conducted the defence, Jean de la Valette.
After that, the Knights of Malta stayed there, secure until the French Revolution. In 1798 the French fleet sailed for shelter in Valetta and then turned on its host. Losing the island caused a diaspora and diminishing of the order, although it still exists today.


Vincenzo Coronelli   (1650-1718)

Vincenzo Coronelli was born in Venice on 16 August 1650 and largely brought up in Ravenna. He returned to Venice in 1665 and joined the convent of the Minor Conventuals. Five years later, he was sent to Rome for study and already by 1673 was Doctor of Theology. 

Having achieved some fame by constructing two globes for the Duke of Parma, he was invited to Paris for three years in 1681 and made two enormous examples for Louis XIV. On his return to Venice, he assiduously collected cartographic material and founded the Academy of the Argonauts. In 1685 he was appointed Cosmographer to the Republic of Venice and authorised to publish a large atlas. He became a lector in geography at the University of Venice and brought out an Atlante Veneto the following year.

In 1696 he visited Germany, Holland and southern England. During intervals in compiling his vast encyclopaedia, he continued with cartographic projects up to 1709. He died in his native Venice on 9 December 1718.

Coronelli became famous for his globes. In addition, he was a renowned encyclopaedist, mapmaker and geographer. The majority of his maps and other material are gathered in his Atlante Veneto (13 vols, 1690-1705). The first volume, subtitled Descrizione generale istorica geografica, was his masterpiece, planned as an extension of Blaeu’s atlas.

Other volumes of the atlas which contain maps are Isolario, two parts (1696-8), with detailed maps and plans, mostly of islands; Corso geografico, 2 parts based on the edition 1694-7; Libro de’ globi (1697); and Lo Specchio del Mare, a reprint of Levanto's Lo Specchio del Mare Mediterraneo of 1664.

The other important aspects of his mapping are those arising from the Venetian conquest and his own travels. His most extensive military compilation was the Teatro della Guerra in more than 30 volumes.

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Isola di Malta olim Melita.

€2900  ($3016 / £2523)
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Item Number:  28817
Category:  Antique maps > Mediterranean Sea
References: Baynton-Williams New Worlds - p.110; Shirley (Brit.Lib.) - Vol.1 p. 433 T.Coro-13a (125)

Old, antique map of Malta by Vincenzo Coronelli.

On verso: Plan of Valetta.

Title: Isola di Malta olim Melita.
Descritta, e Dedicata Dal P. Coronelli Cosmografo della Serenissima Republica di Venetia,
All' Illustrissimo, et Eccelentissimo Signore Giorgio Corner in Venetia 1589.


Date of the first edition: 1689.
Date of this map: 1696.
Date on map: 1689.

Copper engraving, printed on paper.
Map size: 450 x 600mm (17.72 x 23.62 inches).
Sheet size: 480 x 695mm (18.9 x 27.36 inches).
Verso: Italian text.
Condition: Excellent.
Condition Rating: A+.

From: Isolario Descrittione Geografico-Historica, Sacro-Profano, Antico-Moderna, Politica, Naturale e Poetica ... di Tutti l'Isole ... Tomo II dell'Atlante Veneto ... del P.Maestro Vincenzo Coronelli ... A'Spese dell'Autore MDCLXXXXVI. (Shirley (Brit.Lib), T.CORO-13a)

The map is surrounded by 63 armorials of the Grand Masters of the Knights of Malta.

The Knights of Malta were initially founded as the Knights Hospitallers, a quasi-military order helping pilgrims in the Holy Land. Forced to leave after the failure of the crusades, the order moved from island to island in the Mediterranean before arriving in Malta in 1530. There they established their base, and from here, they campaigned against the Barbary Pirates, earning the wrath of the Ottoman Sultan. In 1565, the Sultan sent a force of some 40,000 men to capture Malta, but the order managed to hold out until relief came. When the replacement city was built, it was named Valetta after the Grand Master who conducted the defence, Jean de la Valette.
After that, the Knights of Malta stayed there, secure until the French Revolution. In 1798 the French fleet sailed for shelter in Valetta and then turned on its host. Losing the island caused a diaspora and diminishing of the order, although it still exists today.


Vincenzo Coronelli   (1650-1718)

Vincenzo Coronelli was born in Venice on 16 August 1650 and largely brought up in Ravenna. He returned to Venice in 1665 and joined the convent of the Minor Conventuals. Five years later, he was sent to Rome for study and already by 1673 was Doctor of Theology. 

Having achieved some fame by constructing two globes for the Duke of Parma, he was invited to Paris for three years in 1681 and made two enormous examples for Louis XIV. On his return to Venice, he assiduously collected cartographic material and founded the Academy of the Argonauts. In 1685 he was appointed Cosmographer to the Republic of Venice and authorised to publish a large atlas. He became a lector in geography at the University of Venice and brought out an Atlante Veneto the following year.

In 1696 he visited Germany, Holland and southern England. During intervals in compiling his vast encyclopaedia, he continued with cartographic projects up to 1709. He died in his native Venice on 9 December 1718.

Coronelli became famous for his globes. In addition, he was a renowned encyclopaedist, mapmaker and geographer. The majority of his maps and other material are gathered in his Atlante Veneto (13 vols, 1690-1705). The first volume, subtitled Descrizione generale istorica geografica, was his masterpiece, planned as an extension of Blaeu’s atlas.

Other volumes of the atlas which contain maps are Isolario, two parts (1696-8), with detailed maps and plans, mostly of islands; Corso geografico, 2 parts based on the edition 1694-7; Libro de’ globi (1697); and Lo Specchio del Mare, a reprint of Levanto's Lo Specchio del Mare Mediterraneo of 1664.

The other important aspects of his mapping are those arising from the Venetian conquest and his own travels. His most extensive military compilation was the Teatro della Guerra in more than 30 volumes.

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