Rare Lafreri-school map of the island of Mallorca.

De Maiorica Insula.


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SKU: NL-00838 Category:
Date: ca. 1575
Place: Venice
Dimensions: 18 x 23.5 cm (7 x 9.5 in)
Condition Rating: VG


This is rare map of Mallorca orients the island with west at the top, and situates it at the center of the four classical winds: TRAMONTANA, MEZZODI, PONENTE, LEVANTE. This is a Venetian variant of the Bertelli model, attributed to Giovanni Francesco Camocio. This is the third state of the map, without Camocio’s imprint, and with the added number ’20’ at lower right.

From a cartographic point of view, the map is characterized by a fascinating error. The geography of island is reversed, the position of Palma, Capo Formentor, and the island of Dragonera are mirrored to reality. This error is most likely because the map was engraved in the same direction as the drawing from which it was taken.

At the time this map was published, the Balearic were the target of frequent attacks by Barbary pirates from North Africa. In response, coastal watchtowers were constructed and churches were fortified, as seen in many of the cities depicted on the map.

Also within the excellent strap work cartouche is a description of the island, in Latin:

INSULA Maiorica, ex duabus prope hispaniam ad orientem belearibus, sive gimnesijs insulis altera maior, et westernor contra jben jluminis ostia, à re si dicta. eius metropolis ad orientem solem septentrionem versus eodem nunc nomine quo et insula prius (ut fertur) palm optimo portu, academia universalis doctrinaq [eu] lulliana nobilis ad meridiem true alteram habet civitatem bollentiam sive pollentiam nomine luxta littora plana est et faecunda in interioribus verò contra, montibus referta, et infaecunda.


Giovanni Francesco Camocio

Giovanni Francesco Camocio was born in the first half of the sixteenth century, possibly in Asolo (Treviso) where the presence of the Camosio family, of Piedmontese origin, to which Giovanni Battista belonged, a well-known Hellenist considered by some to be a relative, if not brother of the Camocio, is widely documented.

Camocio was a prolific engraver of maps and prints, based in Venice.

Condition Description

Small repair to bottom right margin, light impression top left.


Almagià (1927): n. 22; Almagià (1948): p. 104, n. 44; Borroni Salvadori (1980): n. 25; Christie’s (2004): n. 506; Christie’s Ln (2006): n. 127; Christie’s Pa (2006): n. 219; Christie’s (2011): n. 52; Dzikowski (1940): n. 15; Kraus (1972): n. 87; Meurer (2002): n. 80; Mostra Bergamo (2016): n. 34; Parke-Bernet (1969): n. 9; Ruge (1904-16): I, n. 67.4 e IV, n. 88.19; Shirley (2004): I, n. 37; Tavernari (2014): n. 10; Wieder (1915): p. 29, 61; 700 anys de cartografia de les Illes Balears (1986): n. 40; Cartografia De Les Illes Balears (2000): pp. 136-137, n. 60; Nordenskiöld (1981): n. 12(11); Tooley (1939): n. 355.