The Gazzettiere Americano containing a distinct report on all parts of the New World, of their situation, climate, land, products, ancient and modern state, goods, industries and trade. In Livorno, per Marco Coltellini, all’insegna della verità, 1763.
First Italian edition in 3 volumes (page XXIII, 216, 256, 253), three frontispieces with relative cartoons, frontispiece embellished by the engraver Marco Coltellini, 77 pictures outside the text, 50 of which were geographic maps, also folded ones, and scenes, 27 of which were animals, mainly birds.
A work in three volumes by the publisher Marco Coltellini, the title of which suggests the idea of a journal, but is actually a topographic-alphabetical encyclopaedia of the New World, as it was known in 1763. The text is embellished by beautiful engravings (etching technique), most of which are by Giuseppe Maria Terreni.
This is the first edition, the Italian translation of the anonymous work The American Gazetteer (London, A. Millar and J. Tonson, 1762), including news about geography, natural history, craftsmanship and trade, building and fortification, economics and politics. It is clearly better than the English edition, that only contrains 8 maps and is small in size.
The publisher gives precise indications of his intentions from the frontispiece, indicating the range of subjects from the New World that will be addressed: from climate to products, manufacture to trade, descriptions of cities, port, rivers, mountains etc. The purpose of the encyclopaedia is well illustrated in the Letter to the Reader, where the publisher states that he has not sought a historical slant, but wanted to provide an agile, complete tool for all those who are interested and curious about the “current state of things in that part of the world.”
The cartoon recalls the book’s subject: two semi-naked women, alongside an armillary sphere (the astronomy tool that represents the celestial sphere), look at a geographical map against a background of palm trees.
Christopher Columbus who has just landed from the New World is portrayed in the frontispiece engraved by Marco Coltellini. America is represented as a naked woman with a crown, kneeling at his feet and offers him the sceptre. The allegory of Religion watches the event in heaven.