Two Rare & Important Maps relating to Texas & California

“Major source for the study of tribute, place glyphs, and political economy and geography of the Aztecs” (Glass)

“One of the finest products of the press of Hogal” (JCB)

Click thumbnails to open zoomable images.

226. LORENZANA [Y BUITRÓN], Francisco Antonio de & Hernán Cortés [de Monroy y Pizarro]. Historia de Nueva-España, escrita por su esclarecido conquistador Hernan Cortes, aumentada con otros documentos, y notas, por el Ilustrissimo Señor Don Francisco Antonio Lorenzana, Arzobispo de Mexico. Mexico: Con las Licencias Necesarias...en la Imprenta del Superior Gobierno, del Br. D. Joseph Antonio de Hogal en Calle de Tiburcio, Año de 1770. [18], i-xvi, 1-175, [2], 177-400, [18, contents] pp., title printed in red and black and with allegorical copper-engraving of America (Opibus Clara, Religione Nobilior | En la Imprenta de Hogal | Emmanuel Villavicensio inv. et sc. Mx.); 34 copper-engraved plates (including allegorical frontispiece of Cortés presenting the New World to Carlos V (by Navarro), Great Temple of Mexico (by Navarro), codices, such as Veytia Calendar Wheel no. 5 & Codex Matrícula de Tributos), copper-engraved initial in prelims, a few wood-engraved ornaments; plus 2 folded maps (see below). Folio (27.7 x 21.3 cm), original full vellum, spine with original beige morocco gilt-lettered and ruled label, edges tinted red. Old ink name on front fly leaf, a few pencil markings and ink corrections. Spine label lightly rubbed and chipped, text block separating from binding, title mounted on stub (as issued; title leaf originally printed on second leaf of last signature). A few trivial tears to a couple of text leaves (not affecting text). Text between pages 201 and 375 lightly stained at upper blank gutters (affecting majority of text between pp. 282-315, including blank margin of California map). Otherwise, text, plates, and maps are very fine, in original condition. Overall, a fine copy in original binding, and complete (seldom found thus, due to the two important maps which frequently have been removed, California and Texas-Southwest-Mexico). Maps and plates in strong impressions.


ALZATE Y RAMÍREZ, José Antonio de. [Title within ornate cartouche at right center] Plano de la Nueva Es- | paña en que se señalan los Viages que | hizo el Capitán Hernan Cortés assi antes | como despues de conquistado el Imperio | Mexicano: dispuesto por Dn. Jph. Anto. | de Alzate y Ramírez | año de 1769 [text at upper left discussing locations of Native American tribes, commencing] Los Moquis están al Poniente del Nuevo Mexico... [lower left within scroll with charts and books below] Ruta Que Llebò Hernan Cortés | quando fue la primera vez a Mexico. [lower left within image] Navarro delin | i sculpio en México | año 1770. Neat line to neat line: 31.2 x 41 cm; overall sheet size: 36 x 45 cm. Very fine. Map of New Spain south to Honduras and north to the present U.S. (Southern California, Arizona-New Mexico, Louisiana, and to western Florida, south and central Texas as part of Obispado de Guadalaxara, labelled along Gulf of Mexico: Te-x-as). Bishoprics and geographical elements are named. The scroll at lower left lists the places that Hernán Cortés visited on his trip to Mexico. Alzate’s map, as it appears in Lorenzana’s book, was reworked from Alzate’s original manuscript maps and a printed version (Nuevo Mapa Geográfico de la América Septentrional, 1768), the latter almost impossible to obtain (see ALZATE RAMÍREZ herein). The present map, besides its intrinsic interest for the cartography of Mexico, is important for Texas and the Transmississippi West. Martin and Martin (20) state that the prototype 1768 printed map is “the only printed Spanish map of the area [Texas and the Spanish Southwest] produced in the eighteenth century.” See also: Jack Jackson, Shooting the Sun, I, pp. 131-139. Lowery 515 & 516; Wagner, Cartography of the Northwest Coast 612. Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West #149n & Vol. I, p. 87). Alzate’s maps were the first to apply the name Texas to the entire geographical region. (Delisle’s Carte de la Louisiane was the first printed map to include the name Texas, by locating the ‘Mission de los Teijas, établie in 1716,’ referring to the earliest of the Spanish missions in East Texas; see DELISLE herein). Wheat (Mapping the Transmississippi West Vol. I, p. 134) discusses the sources of Humboldt’s celebrated map of New Spain (see HUMBOLDT herein) and specifically cites Alzate as one of Humboldt’s major sources, indicating the importance of Alzate’s cartographic work.

[CASTILLO, Domingo del (attributed)]. [Title in winged banner on cloud at top right, with announcement of the map maker and that it was made in 1541] Domingo del Castillo. | Pilota me Fecit en | México año del Nacimiento | de N.S. Jesu Chisto [sic] de | MDXLI. [text below map] Este Mapa esta sacado de el original que para en el Estado de el Marqués de el Valle. En lo alto pone una | Ciudad, que entonzes o por Relaciones se creio cierta i la llamaron Quivira. En la desembocadura del Rio Colorado en el | Golfo de Californias pone Dos Rios el uno se llama de Buena Guia, i puede ser el Colorado el otro de Miraflores, y puede ser | el Gila que incorporados en una Madre entrán en el Seno de Californias. Navarro Sc. Mexo. año 1769. Compass rose at lower left and two small depictions of La Ciudad de Cibora [i.e., Cibola] and La Ciudad de México. Plate mark (map and text below): 21.3 x 25.5 cm; overall sheet size: 27 x 40 cm. Very fine. Map of the west coast of Mexico and Baja California, cities and geographical features named. The original map, of which this is a copy, was drawn by the pilot Domingo del Castillo in 1541 when he explored the Gulf of California and charted its shores. Castillo was Alcarón’s pilot and may also have been with Ulloa. Lorenzana notes in the text that the map of California published with his book was copied from the original in the Archives of the Cortés family (apparently now lost). This map (here in its first printing) has been cited as the first map to bear the name California (Burrus, Kino and the Cartography of Northwestern New Spain, p. 30; Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West #3 & Vol. I, p. 19). However, Wagner (Cartography of the Northwest Coast 2) points out that it is not known whether Castillo or Lorenzana applied the name California which appears on the map. Derek Hayes opines that the presence of the name California on the map “is likely simply an addition by the engraver in 1770” (p. 14 in Historical Atlas of California). See also Dr. Mathes’ full note accompanying Map 2 in California 49 (map illustrated). The map shows California as a peninsula rather than as an island as it was formerly believed.

     First edition of a masterpiece of Mexican colonial printing, with important historical content and superb maps and plates; first American edition of Cortés second, third, and fourth letters. Barrett, Baja California 3960. JCB III (1, 1700-1771) #1750. Cowan II, p. 396. García Icazbalceta 123, 230. Hill I, pp. 66-69. Hill II #1039: “Included is the voyage of Cortés to Baja California and a report of all of the expeditions to California to the year 1769, the year of the Portolá-Serra expedition to found San Diego and Monterey.” Johnson, The Book in the Americas 26 (figs. 36, 37, 38, 39). Leclerc, Bibliotheca Americana (1867) 400; (1878) 1108. Medina, Ensayo bio-bibliográfico sobre Hernán Cortés 73. Medina, México 5380. Museo Amparo, Imprentas, ediciones, y grabados de México barroco 77. Palau 142408. Sabin 42065. Valle, Cortés 29. Vindel, pp. 267-268. Wagner, Spanish Southwest 152. See map citations with each map above.

     Lorenzana, archbishop of Mexico from 1766-1772, displayed great energy and capability, and succeeded in advancing the religious, social, educational interests and printing arts of Mexico during his bishopric. Recalled to Spain in 1772 he became archbishop of Toledo and was made a cardinal in 1789. Lorenzana presents the second, third, and fourth letters of Cortés to Charles V, documenting the conquest of Mexico (Cortés’ first letter is still lost; the fifth was not discovered until 1777 and remained unpublished until 1844). Cortés’ letters are made all the more valuable by Lorenzana’s copious commentary and research, including his attempt to identify Cortés’ route to Mexico City. Lorenzana’s edition of Cortés’ letters was the primary source used by most subsequent English and French writers (see Henry R. Wagner, The Rise of Fernando Cortés, Berkeley: The Cortés Society, 1944, pp. xv, 141).

     Pre-Cortesian interest includes text and illustrations of materials such as the Veytia Calendar Wheel no. 5 and a suite of thirty-one engraved leaves of glyphs from Matrícula de Tributos (first appearance in print). These glyphs, which are accompanied by Spanish translations, are an itemized list of tribute paid to the ruling cities of the Valley of Mexico before the conquest by different provinces and villages of the Aztec empire. These glyphs constitute “a major source for the study of tribute, place glyphs, and political economy and geography of the Aztecs” (Glass #368 & p. 645). The copper-engraved plates are among the most beautiful and elegantly presented reproductions from the original Mesoamerican pictorial codices.

     The book includes a wealth of historical material on colonial Mexico, such as a list of viceroys from Cortés to the Marquis de Croix (taken from a manuscript of Betancurt’s work). There is also an account of Cortés’ voyage to Baja California, and a report of all subsequent expeditions to California to 1769 (the year of the Portolá-Serra expedition to found San Diego and Monterey). The general map of New Spain which accompanies this work was created by José Antonio de Alzate y Ramírez (1737-1799), a Mexican-born cleric and leading figure of the Enlightenment in colonial Mexico (see Dicc. Porrúa and Elías Trabulse, Historia de la ciencia in México and arte y ciencia en la historia de México).

This cornerstone history is a milestone in American printing, being the most lavishly illustrated book with engravings to have been printed in the New World up to that time. The book was printed on the illustrious press of Hogal, considered the Ibarra of Mexico. José Mariano Navarro engraved the allegorical frontispiece and the two maps. (See: Mathes, Illustration in Colonial Mexico, Woodcuts and Copper Engravings in New Spain 1539-1821; Romero de Terreros, Grabados y grabadores de Nueva España, pp. 126-127). The remainder of the engravings are the work Manuel de Villavicencio. (See: Mathes, La Ilustración en México colonial, pp. 129; Romero de Terreros, Grabados y grabadores de Nueva España, pp. 549-555). For other works by Lorenzana printed by Hogal, see herein.


Sold. Hammer: $7,000.00; Price Realized: $8,575.00.

Auction 23 Abstracts

Click thumbnails to open zoomable images.

DSRB Home | e-mail: