Rare First State of the First Printed Map to Focus on New England and New France
"La Nuova Francia", Gastaldi/Ramusio
Subject: Colonial Northeastern United States & Canada
Period: 1556 (published)
Publication: Terzo Volume delle Navigationi et Viaggi
Color: Black & White
14.8 x 10.8 inches
37.6 x 27.4 cm
This is the rare first state of this unusual map, which was the first to focus on the area of New England and New France and the first to use the name Nuova Francia. Derived from the Gastaldi's 1548 regional map, the cartography is based largely on Verrazzano and Cartier's reports resulting in a curious depiction of the Hudson and St. Lawrence rivers. Newfoundland is identified as Terra Nuova, below the large Isola de Demoni, appropriately decorated with demons. The area near New York Harbor is titled Angoulesme. Long Island, which Verrazzano imagined as a peninsula, is labeled Flora. Newport Bay is called Port Real, and Narragansett Bay is Port du Refuge. A long, snake-like band, speculated to be an early representation of the Gulf Stream, marks the rich fishing banks. The map is populated with scenes of Native Americans hunting and fishing, elaborately engraved ships, and fanciful sea monsters. This example comes from the first woodblock, which was destroyed by a fire a year after it was made. Examples from the first woodblock feature rounded trees rather than weeping willows, and there is a codfish on its side to the southeast of Cape Breton.
References: Augustyn & Cohen, pp. 18-19; Burden #25; Goss #8; Kershaw #14; McCorkle #556.1; Sabin #67740; Shirley (BL Atlases) G.RAMU-1a #5; Verner & Stuart-Stubbs #2.
On a sheet with a crown watermark. The margins have been trimmed at left and right by the bookbinder, with part of the page numbers missing and much of the neatline missing at right. There is light toning along the centerfold, light soiling, and two short worm tracks in the bottom blank margin.