Catalog Archive
Auction 146, Lot 289

One of the First Maps Published in Mexico

"Provincia d. S. Diego de Mexico en la Nueba Espana...",

Subject: Central Mexico

Period: 1682 (dated)

Publication: Chronica de la Santa Provincia de San Diego de Mexico

Color: Black & White

10.4 x 6.3 inches
26.4 x 16 cm
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This is the first state of one of the first copper-engraved maps published in Mexico. The map is centered on Mexico City and presents a bird's-eye view of central Mexico extending from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean. The region is known as the ecclesiastical province of San Diego, and extends from Aguascalientes and Guanajuato in the north to Acapulco and Oaxaca in the south. The title cartouche mentions 12 convents in the region, which are depicted on the map. The map is handsomely embellished with a rising sun, several sailing ships, a compass rose, and even birds flying above in the sky.

The map was engraved by the highly skilled Antonio Ysarti for publication in Baltasar de Medina's Chronica de la Santa Provincia de San Diego de Mexico. Little is known about Ysarti, who also engraved a remarkable frontispiece for Medina's book, depicting numerous Franciscan martyrs within a Franciscan temple. Friar Baltasar de Medina was born in Mexico and became a Discalced Franciscan, a separate order of Franciscans that remain barefoot. Medina was named the official chronicler for the Discalceds, and in 1682 he published a history of the order's accomplishments in his masterwork Chronica, which focused on both Franciscan martyrs and colonial life in New Spain. Ysarti's map was the only one to be included in the Chronica.

This scarce map is an important milestone in Mexican cartography and the history of the Americas. The Library of Congress holds the revised copperplate of the map, which mentions 14 convents with Valladolid added at center left and has the date removed from the bottom border.


Condition: B+

A slightly uneven impression with minor foxing and soiling.

Estimate: $7,000 - $9,000


Closed on 9/4/2013