Aloisio Cesani, Nautical Atlas
Ms. Parm. 1616
Member, 1574, 5 plates, cm. 28 x 39.7
The five tables of the atlas, drawn on parchment, folded and assembled in the form of a book, seem to have been laid out and thus composed by the same author, originally from Otranto, whose name is testified in the legend of the fifth table, placed vertically. Unlike the other nautical charts, which entered the Parma library in the first years of its establishment with the librarian Paciaudi, the atlas has maintained its original binding in red morocco, richly and naturalistically decorated in dry and gold; in the center of the front plate there is the super libros with the arms of that branch of the Gonzaga family which had the Principality of Molfetta and the Duchy of Guastalla.
The precious atlas is made up of an inclusive planisphere of the new world, three nautical charts and a systematic astronomical table; heads of blowing men, warriors on foot and on horseback, figures of enthroned kings, sailing ships, turreted cities, tents, fantastic animals and waving flags populate his tables amidst sea routes, wind roses and names of coastal towns, graduated by importance in red and black, in Latin and Italian, in a humanistic handwriting tending towards small module cursive. All the maps in the atlas are bordered in lively red, but the three nautical ones have frames in which the names of the winds appear, formed by two strips in which dashes are also drawn at various distances, which could be interpreted as scales; there are wind roses with the traditional colored rhombuses, in gold the one that indicates north with an acute index; the fifth table is particularly interesting as it presents tables and captions written in black and red which refer to the perpetual calendar, weather forecasts, the winds and the zodiac.