Catalog Archive
Auction 118, Lot 432

"[Mexico City]", Ramusio, Giovanni Battista

Subject: Mexico

Period: 1606 (circa)

Publication: Delle Navigazioni et Viaggi

Color: Black & White

6.8 x 10.5 inches
17.3 x 26.7 cm
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Delightful, little woodblock view of Mexico City made not long after the conquest of that region by Cortez. The view shows a plan of the city with a temple at its center and a stable of animals next to it. The plan is oriented with south at the top, where one can also see active volcanoes noted. The sheet has Italian text on verso titled Relatione Della Citta del Temistitan. This example is the second state, last edition; the first woodblock had been destroyed by a fire a year after it was made in 1556. It is can be distinguished by the evidence of woodworm in the block that left blank areas in the printed map.

Giovanni Battista Ramusio was born in Venice and spent most of his life as a civil servant to the Venetian Republic. His three volume Delle Navigazioni et Viaggi, first published in Venice in 1556, was a compilation of the details of a large number of world voyages.


Condition: B

Light stain in right corner, not affecting map. Map has a bit of irregular printing from some loss on the woodblock, but not distracting.

Estimate: $400 - $600

Sold for: $300

Closed on 3/6/2007