Cipro insula nobiliss.a ch di grandezza tutte le altre ...

Giovanni Francesco Camocio (*1501 - 1575)
Antique map of Cyprus. Printed in Venice by G. F. Camocio in 1570.

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Reference 11177



A very rare, early map of Cyprus from Camocio's Isole Famose. This copy is printed from the first state of the plate, without the number in the lower right corner. The map is extremely rare and very hard to find on the market.

Stylianou notes to this plate:

'Cipro insula ..., with the coasts of Caramania and Soria, is depicted with east at the top. There is no separate title to the map. In the top right, we have the historical descriptive note: Cipro insula nobiliss.a di grandezza tutte le altre eccede, et detta Beata p(er) la sua mirabile fertilita di uino, grano, oglio, lino, babagio, lane legnami, uitrioli, sale, pece, metalli, et e diuisa in 11 contadi, tient di circuito mill. 550. longezza mill. 110. largezza mill. 65. distante di Soria mill. 60. dalla caramaniia (sic) mill. 50. di Candia mill. 500. la principal citta regia e Nicossia distante di Famagosta mill. 38.

The map of the island appears to be a recension of that by Paolo Forlani already described. There are some eliminations of place-names around the coast and some additions in the interior, which is divided into the same 11 districts. Nicosia retains its diagrammatic plan as a cartographical symbol.

There is no imprint or any indication in the descriptive note about the date of issue of the map. On the coast of Caramania, however, there are depicted several formations of Turkish troops - foot-soldiers and cavalry - apparently in preparation for the attack on the island in July 1570. In this context, a date before July 1570, can be suggested for the map.'

The Italian atlases of the 16th Century are among the much sought after cartographic rarities. Besides the so-called Lafreri atlases, a compilation of individual maps of various sizes, the Venetian publishers Camocio and Bertelli issued a few atlases with maps of uniform size and style.

Isole Famose porti, fortezze, e terre maritime is one of the most important of these atlases, issued first by Camocio in 1566. It comprises a collection of maps of the areas under the influence of the Venetians. Shown is the situation during the siege of Vienna in 1566, and the battle between the Venetians and Turks in the Mediterranean during the years 1570-1573. Mainly included are maps of the Mediterranean coasts, the main islands, and city views. The atlas was published between 1566 and 1574 by Camocio without a title, after 1575 it was issued by Donato Bertelli with a printed title, also printed from the original plates.


CartographerGiovanni Francesco Camocio
TitleCipro insula nobiliss.a ch di grandezza tutte le altre ...
Publisher, YearG. F. Camocio, Venice, before July 1570
Plate Size20.2 x 15.9 cm (8.0 x 6.3 inches)
Sheet Size27.5 x 20.3 cm (10.8 x 8.0 inches)
ReferenceStylianou, A. & J.: The History of the Cartography of Cyprus, No. 42 (fig. 47); Zacharakis, C. G.: A Catalogue of printed Maps of Greece, 3rd edition, #796/522


With original wide margin, which is rare, since sheets from Camocio's Isole Famose often cut along or within the plate marks. Old ink scribbles on back side, resulting marginal shine through left to the cartouche. One small worm hole in the upper left corner. Some minor staining mainly in margin. Outer margins (~4mm) backed verso with Japan paper. Offset image on verso from another print of the same plate from stacking the sheets during printing process, while the printers ink was not dry. A very good and strong, early impression of the plate.


Giovanni Francesco Camocio was active as map publisher in Venice between 1558 and 1575. He was one of the most important mapmakers of the Lafreri-school.

During the short period between the publication of Sebastian Münster's Geographia (1540) in Basel and Abraham Ortelius Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (1570) in Antwerp, Italy was the most important place of map production in Europe. The output in Rome and Venice was no less than 660 different maps of the world, which were based mostly on large woodcut maps. These Italian copper engraved maps were used, among others, by Mercator and Ortelius as templates. The individual maps of different formats were mostly compiled at the request of the buyer and bound by expanding the margin of the smaller maps. For the resulting bound collection of maps, the name Lafreri-Atlas has established. Besides the eponym Antonio Lafreri and Camocio, we have to mention Bertelli, Duchetti and Forlani, which also published bound collections of maps. As the most important representative of this period, the Venetian cartographer Giacomo Gastaldi overshadowed his combatant in volume and importance.

Besides Camocio's single-sheet maps of the continents and the world, he published an Isolario, a collection of island maps and plans of harbour. It was published between c. 1566 and 1574 without a title, after 1575 with the title Isole Famose Porti, Fortezze E Terre Maritime by Donato Bertelli who published the plates under his name after the death of Camocio.

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Giovanni Francesco Camocio: Cipro insula nobiliss.a ch di grandezza tutte le altre ....
Antique map of Cyprus. Printed in Venice by G. F. Camocio in 1570.

Cyprus - Camocio, Giovanni Francesco - Cipro insula nobiliss.a ch di grandezza...

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