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126. MEDINA, Balthasar de.  [MAP]. YSARTI, Antonio. [Below neat line along top] Nova Delineatio Srictissime. S. Didaci Provinciæ In Nova Hispania [in cartouche]  Provincia D. S. Diego de Mexico en la nueba España tiene 14 cõventos y desde el d Oaxaca que esta en 17 gras del le sueste Hasta el de Aguas calientes, que esta en 22 al Norueste, ay de distancia 160 leguas Por el Oriente cõfina con el Obispado de la Puebla y Oaxaca, por el poniente cõ el Obispado de Michoacan y Guadalaxara. Por Norte y Sur con el Arzobispado De Mexico. [along lower neat line] Autor inuenit Antonius Ysartii Escud, Mexici. Mexico, 1682 [restrike, New York, 1990]. Copper-engraved map.  Neat line to neat line 16 x 25.9 cm; plate mark: 17.4 x 28.1 cm. Compass rose and scale at lower left, rising sun at right, ships, architecture, landscape features, birds, etc.  Mint, a strong impression.  Professionally matted and hinged.

     First edition, second issue (100 copies pulled), of the map that originally appeared in Medina’s 1682 Chronica de la Santa Provincia de San Diego de Mexico (see preceding entry).  Mathes, Illustration in Colonial Mexico: Woodcuts and Copper Engravings in New Spain, 1539-1821: “The highly skilled Antonio Ysarti produced a map of the Franciscan Province of San Diego de México [in] 1682.”  See also Manuel Romero de Terreros y Vicent, Los Grabadores en Mexico durante la Epoca Colonial (Mexico, 1917).

     This impression was pulled from the original copper plate, which surfaced in the 1970s and is now in the Library of Congress.  Comparison of this impression with the original 1682 printing reveals that the plate was altered very early, although no contemporary impression pulled from the altered plate is known.  In this issue the cartouche mentions fourteen convents instead of twelve, and Valladolid has been added at center left.

     The region depicted is the ecclesiastical province of San Diego, which covered a large area of central Mexico from Aguascalientes and Guanajuato in the north to Acapulco and the Pacific in the south (basically, from 16 degrees to 23 degrees of latitude).  This famous map is actually a combination of traditional cartography and a bird’s-eye view and has long been appreciated for its unusual depiction of the area.  Except for the latitude readings, it is almost useless as an actual map.  Nevertheless, it was long considered the first copper-engraved map published in Mexico, as per the conjectures of Sabin (2987) and others; subsequent scholarship revealed at least one other map engraved in Mexico that preceded it, however.  Regardless of the chronological sequence of this map for the history of American cartography, it is a milestone of outstanding grace and beauty.

     For citations to the book in which the map appeared, see:  JCB II, p. 102.  Heredia 6818. Medina, Mexico 1250. Palau 159373. Sabin 2987 & 47336. Streeter Sale 137. Wagner, Spanish Southwest 55. ($600-1,200)

Auction 19 Short Title List | Auction 19 Prices Realized

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