Famous and fundamental work by Robert Dudley (1573-1649), in which the author demonstrated his wide-ranging expertise in mapmaking and navigation science. Dedicated to Ferdinand II de' Medici (1610-1670) and first printed in three volumes in Florence in 1646-1647, the Arcano del mare, now exceedingly rare, was the first sea atlas of the entire known world. A monument also for its high typographic quality, the book contains sea charts and illustrations of innovative navigation instruments. There are also proposals for optimizing the profile of ship hulls.
The plate on display illustrates some of the ingenious instruments designed by Dudley.