The rarest acquirable map of Tuscany.

Geografi della Toscana [Ferdinand de Medici Horse Map]


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SKU: NL-01627 Categories: ,
Cartographer(s): Stefano Scolari
Date: 1662
Place: Venice
Dimensions: Together: 106 x 82 cm (42 x 32 in)
Condition Rating: VG+


A map that is one of the greatest rarities in collecting today and an absolute gem of 17th-century Italian cartography. This is the upper half of Stefano Scolari’s monumental ‘Carta di Cavallo’ of Tuscany.

The work is originally a 4-sheet map. Offered here are the two best sheets, the upper half with all of Tuscany’s most famous cities, including Florence, Siena, Lucca, Montepulciano, and Arezzo, along with part of Umbria including Perugia.

The map is colloquially known in map-collecting circles as the Carta di Cavallo (Map of the Horse) due to the prominent figure of a rider along the right edge of the map (effectively occupying the province of Umbria). This mounted figure is none other than Ferdinand de Medici, who ruled as Grand Duke of Tuscany from 1587 to 1609 when this map was first published. The ruler’s many titles are listed on the statue’s base. This highly visual dedication is a celebration of the power of the Medici as political unifiers and creators of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.



This map dates to 1662 and was published in Venice by Stefano Scolari. It is a re-issue of a 1609 map commonly attributed to the Florentine mapmaker Guiseppe Rosaccio, even though most scholars seem to agree that the craftsmanship behind the map was really the work of Rosaccio’s son and apprentice, Aloisio (Luigi) Rosaccio. Regardless of the exact origins, everyone agrees that this is one of the finest maps of Tuscany ever created. Part of what makes it so exceptional is the artistic rendition of topography, infrastructure, and cities. The extensive labeling is a tribute to the quality and skill of the cartographer.

Complete sets of this map are of the utmost rarity and, to our knowledge, figure in only a handful of institutional collections. The OCLC lists two examples, and both are of the original Rosaccio edition. One is held as part of the Collection d’Anville in the Bibliotheque nationale de France (no. 494961533). The same institution apparently holds a second example in their regular stacks as well (no. 494963229). We have identified a third intact example of the original Rosaccio edition in the Museo Galileo in Florence (link here). The OCLC does not list any examples of the Scolari edition.


Stefano Scolari

Stefano Scolari was an Italian cartographer active in the latter half of the 17th century. He had been trained as an engraver in Brescia but did most of his formal work from Venice, where he owned a famous shop in S. Zulian under the sign of the Three Virtues.

Scolari engraved, published, and sold both prints and maps but was especially known for re-issuing important maps from the 16th and beginning of the 17th century. Examples include Gastaldi’s three-sheet map of Lombardy (1561), Rosaccio’s four-sheet map of Tuscany (1609), and Greuter’s monumental 12-sheet map of Italy (1630).

Condition Description

Very good. Verso repairs to centerfold on both sheets. Repaired hole at bottom-right of left hand sheet.