Cross-cultural navigation: Turkish-inscribed maritime pilot

Colom, Jacob Aertsz. [Description de la mer méditerranée].

[Amsterdam, ca. 1670].

Folio (290 x 450 mm). 9 double-page engraved charts only, each sheet approx. 440 x 550 mm, each mounted on stiff paper with maps back-to-back, with thick red and black ink borderlines. Of the 9 maps, 8 are by Colom, numbered in the plates from "2" to "9"; plate 1 replaced with Johannes de Ram's map of the Mediterranean, "Paskaart vande Middelandsche Zee In twee deelen vertoont". Contemporary stiff paper covers (worn with losses); manuscript label to lower cover pasted upside down: "Carta Marinaresca del Mar Mediterraneo".


Unusual working copy of Colom's rare pilot, owned by an Ottoman Turkish mariner with his Osmanli inscriptions transliterating the location names throughout. Colom's charts cover the Straits of Gibraltar, the Barbary Coast, Mallorca, the coastline around Barcelona, Nice, Corsica, Sardinia, Southern Italy, Sicily, and Croatia. Koeman highlights the rarity of all of Colom's pilot books and notes that despite "thousands of copies [having been] circulated [...], only a score have survived".

Significant spotting and browning throughout, some cockling and losses to sheets, old repaired tears, creases and signs of heavy use. A highly uncommon survival.

Cf. Phillips III, 53 ff. Koeman IV, 120.