Adding California, Sierra Nevada, Gulf of Mexico

Many Place Names Added in the Southwest

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364. [MAP]. RUSCELLI, Girolamo. Nueva Hispania tabula nova. [Venice, 1598; date based on Burden’s states]. Copper-engraved map on laid paper, seas stipple engraved, with title at top, running head “Descrittione dell’America | Libro Quarto 130”; on recto, Italian text with historiated initial showing equestrian figure and running head “Descrittione dell’America. | Libro Quarto 129.” Neat line to neat line: 18 x 25.4 cm; neat line to neat line with title at top: 18.7 x 25.4 cm; overall sheet size: 23.7 x 34.3 cm. Two small holes on lower center (on ship), old mounting tabs on back of map, otherwise very fine, very strong impression.

     Third state (see previous entry), with numerous additions, including “Calmifor” (Califoria), “Siera Nevad” (Sierra Nevada), ship added in Pacific (here named “Mar del Sur”), Gulf of Mexico named (“Golfo Mexicano”), and many more additions. Burden 31. Martin & Martin Plate 3n & p. 69n. Phillips, Atlases 373, etc. (the map appeared in numerous successive editions of Ptolemy). Wagner, Cartography of the Northwest CoastI, pp. 280 & II #200 (dated as 1599).

     This map shows a distinct knowledge of places names over its precedessors due to the advance of geographic and cartographical knowledge. The extremely graceful and restrained style of mapmaking by Gastaldi and Ruscelli marks a transition from the earlier, heavier style of woodcut maps, reflecting both the lighter Italian sensibility and the use of copperplate engraving as a medium for cartography.


Sold. Hammer: $600.00; Price Realized: $735.00.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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