Catalog Archive
Auction 150, Lot 392

Extremely Rare First State of Medina's Map

"Nuevo Mundo", De Medina, Pedro

Subject: North Atlantic

Period: 1545 (published)

Publication: Arte de Navegar

Color: Hand Color

9.6 x 5.8 inches
24.4 x 14.7 cm
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This extremely rare map was issued in Medina’s "Art of Navigation," which is considered to be the first practical book on the science of navigation. Medina traveled to the New World with Cortes, so the map is based in part upon his own knowledge and observation. The map is the first to depict the Papal Line of Demarcation, which runs prominently down the middle of the map. The Line was a result of the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494 by which all lands to the west of the line belonged to Spain (including most of the Americas) and all lands to its east to Portugal (including a portion of eastern Brazil). Surrounding a large compass rose is a series of sailing ships indicating the navigational routes to and from Spain to the New World.

Geographically, the region around Central America is reasonably well depicted including the Isthmus of Panama and the Yucatan peninsula. Elsewhere the mouths of both the Mississippi and St. Lawrence Rivers are taking shape. Spanish text on verso. According to Burden, this is the first state of the map with a single wood block and 16 rhumb lines (later editions had two woodblocks and only 8 rhumb lines). We have found only one other auction record for this first edition map in the last 30 years (Christie's, Sale 2013, Lot 248 - book with maps).

References: Burden #14; cf. Portinaro & Knirsch p. 77; cf. Lowery p. 58.

Condition: B

A particularly fine impression with expert repairs to a 2" and 1.75" tear in the lower portion of the map in South America, an edge tear at left that extends 0.5" into the image just below the title banner, and several small edge chips and short edge tears confined to the blank margins. Faint damp staining.

Estimate: $10,000 - $15,000

Sold for: $8,500

Closed on 9/17/2014