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Benedetto Marzolla: Carta Generale dell'Antartica

Map: POLAR542
Cartographer: Benedetto Marzolla
Title: Carta Generale dell'Antartica
Date: 1842
Published: Naples
Width: 19 inches / 49 cm
Height: 16 inches / 41 cm
Map ref: POLAR542
Marzolla’s rare and unusual map of the South Pole is an Italian record of the state of Antarctic exploration to the mid 19th century.

As is usual with Marzolla’s maps, the sheet is copiously annotated, on this occasion with a text panel on the lower section of the map and a table on the upper right showing a key to the route of the major explorers in the region. These include Ross, Cook, Biscoe and D’Urville among the better known.

The major exception omitted on the map is the route of the American, Charles Wilkes on the Pacific Exploring Expedition (1838-42), possibly as his expedition was not specifically to the South Pole but rather to the Pacific in general although he made several important Antarctic discoveries. Also, although not shown, he is mentioned on the lower panel.

The lower panel is mainly a history of the exploration of the region, including the major figures involved in its discovery which are mentioned above. Marzolla also references Col. Ferdinand Visconti several times. Visconti was a high level geographer and bureaucrat in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Furthermore, Marzolla also cites his major sources, the British Admiralty, D’Urville of France and the Royal Geographical Society.

Original colour. [POLAR542]