Auction 103, Lot 1

"Descriptio Indiae Occidentalis per Antonium de Herrera Regium Indiarum et Castellae Historiographum", Herrera y Tordesillas, Antonio de

Subject: Title Page - Americas

Period: 1624 (published)

Publication: Novus Orbis sive Descriptio Indiae Orientalis

Color: Black & White

7.5 x 11 inches
19.1 x 27.9 cm

This important title page includes the earliest representation of California as an Island. The small Western Hemisphere is presented on a trapezoidal projection in simple format with no place names or any interior geographical information. A prominent Northwest Passage adds further interest to the map. It apparently is a copy of the one accompanying Friar Antonio de la Ascension's report to the Council of the Indies and the King of Spain, October1620. That map was stolen by the Dutch from a Spanish vessel, thus beginning the theory of California's insularity that latest more than a century. Eight vignettes of Aztec gods and ceremonies flank the title with a Castilian coat-of-arms at its center, and natives in dugout canoes flank the map. Published by Michael Colijn, initially in 1622; this edition is the fourth state with the addition of an oak leaf border.

References: McLaughlin, TP-1; Burden 195.

Condition: B

Dark engraving with general overall surface soil and some light abrasions generally at border. Paper edges chipped. Hinge tape remnants on verso.

Estimate: $2,200 - $2,500


Closed on 6/11/2003