1568 Zenoi - Costantinopoli città principale del gran turcho...[reverse image; extremely rare!]
Exceptional 1568 Zenoi reverse-image bird's-eye-view of Constantinople
Costantinopoli città principale del gran turcho. . .
Domenico Zenoi, Donato Bertelli
16.5 x 13 cm (6.5 x 5.1 in)
Very rare town-plan of Constantinople, a bird's-eye-view from the east. In the title frame a second line cum privilegio and in the lower left corner the engraver's signature D.nco Zenoi.
Domenico Zenoi engraved this view of Istanbul for Paolo Forlani's 1567 Primo libro. This example is likely from Bertelli's 1568 Civitatum...delineatio (evidenced by the plate number 66 in the lower right corner).
What makes this map exceptional is the fact that the city itself is depicted in mirror image. Its model was a woodcut by Giovanni Andrea Vavassore. Instead of using the model to make an inverse on the copperplate, the engraver seems to have copied the image directly; thus when the image was pressed, it appears itself in reverse. Place-names and descriptions were then added to the map afterwards.
Extremely interesting and rare.
A few worm holes in lower right margin. Light water staining in right margin. Very fair impression and printed on heavy paper.
Meurer, Peter H. The Strabo Illustratus atlas: a unique sixteenth century composite atlas from the house of Bertelli in Venice. Bedburg-Hau: Antiquariat Gebr. Haas, 2004, #132.