Fine First State of Ruscelli’s Map of New Spain with Yucatán Shown as a Peninsula

Click thumbnails to open zoomable images.

362. [MAP]. RUSCELLI, Girolamo. Nueva Hispania tabula nova. [Venice, 1561]. Copper-engraved map on laid paper, seas stipple engraved, with title at top, Latin text with historiated initial on verso. Neat line to neat line: 18 x 25.5 cm; neat line to neat line with title at top: 19 x 25.5 cm; overall sheet size: 24.1 x 32.6 cm. A few pinholes at top (only one of which touches map proper), remains of old mounting strip on verso, otherwise very fine and in a strong impression. On this copy it is possible to see where the engraver altered Yucatán so it is not shown as an island.

     First state, with Yucatán shown as a peninsula and without the added place names on subsequent editions (see next entry), plate mark running off top of page, etc. For the progenitor, see Gastaldi under maps herein. Burden 31 (also discussing the Gastaldi 1548): “There are clear signs that the engraver first cut the plate to show an island, as his error was not completely erased when corrected. No example has been found in its insular form.... There are three states of the plate. This map is one of two that were engraved on the same plate, printed and then separated for the book. Evidence of this can be seen by the fact that the plate mark of the maps runs off the top of the page.” Martin & Martin Plate 3 & p. 69: “There were important innovations.... The map of New Spain was significantly improved, correctly showing Yucatán as a peninsula. The place names along the upper Gulf Coast revealed the explorations of Piñeda, Cabeza de Vaca, and Moscosso, and the Mississippi, here shown as ‘Rio de Spiritu Santo,’ was carefully depicted. The map enjoyed wide influence.” Phillips, Atlases 371, 372, etc. (the map appeared in numerous successive editions of Ptolemy). Wagner, Cartography of the Northwest CoastII, p. 280 & #48 (attributed to Gastaldi “with trifling changes”).

     Ruscelli enlarged his version of the map from that of Gastaldi. Tooley’s Dictionary of Mapmakers, Vol. IV, p. 87: “(c. 1504-1566), editor in Venice. Italian translation of Ptolemy’s Geographia, published as La Geografia de Claudio Tolomeo..., Venice, Vincenzo Valgrisi 1561, 1562, Venice, g. Zileti 1564, 1574, Venice 1598-1599 (mainly with enlargements of Gastaldi’s 1548 maps).”


Sold. Hammer: $750.00; Price Realized: $918.75.

Auction 23 Abstracts

Click thumbnails to open zoomable images.

DSRB Home | e-mail: