Gallery: Catalog: Details
Pierotti, Ermete, Plan De Jerusalem Ancienne & Moderne Par Le Docteur Ermete Pierotti, Architecte-Ingenieur... Paris, 1860. 21¼ x 36¼. Dissected and mounted on linen. Attractive original hand color. VG. Laor, Maps of the Holy Land 1095. $5,500.00
A large engraved city map with 18 inset plans of holy sites including churches and mosques. There are several lettered or numbered keys, a colored guide to conventional signs, three scale bars (in meters, stades, and yards), and a population table by religion/ethnicity.
Presentation copy. Inscribed by Pierotti to author Alexandre Dumas – best known today for The Three Musketeers — both in the right margin and on the publisher's label verso, the latter dated October 23, 1861.
Below the right margin dedication is a circular stamp with the modest title "Architetto Ingegnere di Terra Santa" [Architect Engineer of the Holy Land]. However, the center of the stamp has a design with crosses copied from the arms of the Crusader Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem (1099-1291). No Turkish pasha would approve such a design, and likely Pierotti devised the seal. Pierotti had been cashiered from the Sardinian Army for embezzlement. He subsequently was employed by the Pasha of Jerusalem (1854-61) as a surveyor and archeologist.
This was not Dumas' first encounter with a self-promoter of dubious origin. In 1855 he edited and published The Journal of Madame Giovanni, the pseudonym used by Marie-Louise Mirebello Callegari.
Debate over the author's true identity has been settled with the recent publication of Professor Douglas Wilkie's Journal of Madame Callegari which meticulously traces her career. She did indeed travel to the places she describes – Hawaii to Mexico to New York City. However, like Pierotti ignoring his embezzlement conviction, Callegari omits the reason she began her travels outside Europe – transportation to the Penal Colony of Tasmania in a convict ship.
In March 2017 Mary Ritzlin reviewed Professor Wilkie's book for Terrae Incognitae, the Journal of the Society for the History of Discoveries. The journal is available to Society members or by subscription. Terrae Incognitae online.
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