This is a scarce 1701 map of the Kingdom of Naples (officially the Kingdom of Sicily, although the Island of Sicily was not part of the kingdom since the 13th century), in southern Italy by Nicholas De Fer. It covers the southern part of Italy from Ascoli Piceno south to the Ionian Sea and includes parts of the Island of Sicily. A beautifully 'framed' inset in the lower right quadrant features the Island of Sardinia. The map renders the entire region in extraordinary detail offering both topographical and political information with mountains beautifully rendered in profile.
At the time this map was made, The Kingdom of Naples was under Spanish control. Following the War of Spanish Succession, Spain would lose many of its territories in Italy, including the Kingdom of Naples and the Kingdom of Sardinia, to Habsburg Austria. The Kingdom of Naples and Sicily would once again be conquered by Spain in 1734, following the War of Polish Succession.
Overall, a very interesting and attractive map of the region to appear in the beginning of the 18th century. This map was engraved by Harmanus van Loon and created by Nicholas De Fer for his 1701 Atlas.
Nicholas de Fer (1646 - October 25, 1720) was a French cartographer and publisher, the son of cartographer Antoine de Fer. He apprenticed with the Paris engraver Louis Spirinx, producing his first map, of the Canal du Midi, at 23. When his father died in June of 1673 he took over the family engraving business and established himself on Quai de L'Horloge, Paris, as an engraver, cartographer, and map publisher. De Fer was a prolific cartographer with over 600 maps and atlases to his credit. De Fer's work, though replete with geographical errors, earned a large following because of its considerable decorative appeal. In the late 17th century, De Fer's fame culminated in his appointment as Geographe de le Dauphin, a position that offered him unprecedented access to the most up to date cartographic information. This was a partner position to another simultaneously held by the more scientific geographer Guillaume De L'Isle, Premier Geograph de Roi. Despite very different cartographic approaches, De L'Isle and De Fer seem to have stepped carefully around one another and were rarely publicly at odds. Upon his death of old age in 1720, Nicolas was succeeded by two of his sons-in-law, who also happened to be brothers, Guillaume Danet (who had married his daughter Marguerite-Geneviève De Fer), and Jacques-François Bénard (Besnard) Danet (husband of Marie-Anne De Fer), and their heirs, who continued to publish under the De Fer imprint until about 1760. It is of note that part of the De Fer legacy also passed to the engraver Remi Rircher, who married De Fer's third daughter, but Richer had little interest in the business and sold his share to the Danet brothers in 1721. Learn More...
Harmanus van Loon (fl. c. 1690 - c. 1725) was a Flemish engraver active in Paris during the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Van Loon worked primarily in Paris and often signed his work, which includes maps and other engravings for such prominent cartographers as Nicolas de Fer, Jean Baptiste Nolin, Guillaume Delisle, and others. There is some speculation that he may have been related to the Brussels born painter Theodorus van Loon. Learn More...
Fer, Nicholas de, Cartes et Descriptions Generales et Particulieres pour l'intelligence des affaires du temps, au sujet de la Succession de la Couronne d'Espagne, en Europe, en Asie, Afrique, et Amerique, (Paris) 1701.
Very good. Minor wear and toning along original centerfold. Original platemark visible. Minor smudging of outline color near Naples.