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An Exceptionally Rare Oversize Spanish Pedagogical Map in Twelve Sheets

[MAP]. GONZALEZ CAÑAVERAS, Juan Antonio. [Lower left corner] Planisferio ó Carta General de la Tierra segun los ultimos descubrimientos por Dn. Juan Antonio Gonzalez Cañaveras Yndividuo delas Rs. Sociedades Bascongada y Sevillana; Director por S.M. de una Academia y Seminario mandado establecar en la ciudad de Cadiz y despues Tesorero delos Rs. Sitios de San Yldefonso Balsain y Riofrio delineada por su hijo Dn. Juan Franco. de Paula. Madrid, 1800. [Center] Usos de este planisfero [5 columns explaining use of map and tables in solving problems of longitude]. [Right lower corner] Sale à luz à expensas de Dn. Vicente Garviso. Quien le dedica à la Sra. Dña. Maria Josefa Vertiz de Vertiz y Oteyza. Ximeno sclp.]. Madrid: [engraved by José Antonio Ximeno y Carrera and published by Vicente Garviso], 1800. Engraved world map on which the relationships between geography and differing times of sunrise, sunset, and seasons are depicted, printed on twelve sheets, dark blue cloth selvage; verso mounted on contemporary white paper. Border to border: 147 x 151 cm; overall: 150 x 155 cm. Light stains from old adhesive and original folding, a few minor splits at folds with no loss, overall exceptionally fine. Rare, which comports with the map being published for educational use.

First edition. John Carter Brown Library (online Image Collections): “González Cañaveras was a professor of geography at the University of Cádiz who used maps as a teaching tool to show the relationship between the times of sunrise, sunset, seasons, and weather patterns around the world and the geography of the world. There is only one other known copy of this map.” Tooley, Vol. 2, p. 186.

This elusive, oversize, and extraordinary map and its maker are little known. One of the best sources is Dr. W. Michael Mathes’ (R.I.P.), prominent authority in the early history of Baja California, scholar, author, and much more. Mathes’ book is Juan Antonio González Cañaveras: Planisferio... (Madrid 2009). Following are quotations from a review of Mathes’ book written by Juan Ceva, December 2009 Newsletter for the California Map Society:

This book [Dr. Mathes’] presents the work of a lesser-known Spanish cartographer, Juan Antonio González Cañaveras, who lived in Spain during the second half of the XVIII century and beginning of the XIX-a period when Spain was embracing the new cultural wave of the Enlightenment at the same time as it was on the verge of losing all its remaining overseas territories. Tooley’s Dictionary of Mapmakers makes a brief entry on González Cañaveras (with his name slightly misspelled) and cites his Planisferio o Carta General de la Tierra, Madrid 1800, the subject of Mathes’ work. The entry for this mapmaker in the standard work on Spanish cartographers also focuses on his multi-volume work on geography whose second volume contains this wall map.... Two extant copies of the map are known.... 


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