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Joseph Nava:  Mapa y Tabla Geografica de Leguas comunes, que ai de unos à otros Lugares, y Ciudades principales de la America septentrional . . .

Maps of the United States


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Title: Mapa y Tabla Geografica de Leguas comunes, que ai de unos à otros Lugares, y Ciudades principales de la America septentrional . . .

Map Maker: Joseph Nava

Place / Date: Pueblo de Los Angeles / 1755

Coloring: Uncolored

Size: 12 x 7.5 inches

Condition: VG

Price: $8,500.00

Inventory ID: 32462


Description:

Rare map of Spanish North America, printed in Mexico for presentation to the newly appointed Viceroy of New Spain, Agustin de Ahumada y Villalón, Marqués de las Amarillas.

Agustin de Ahumada y Villalón arrived in Mexico City on November 10th, 1755, where he remained until his death on February 5th, 1760.  This remarkable map was intended to provide the newly appointed Viceroy with an overview of New Spain, including a table of distances between major places, including "Californias".  The Viceroy had been charged with repairing and maintaining safety on the roads of New Spain, in addition to creating necessary public works in cities and major towns in his district (Instrucciones y Memorias de los Virreyes Novohispanos. Estudio preliminar, coordinación, bibliografía y notas de Ernesto de la Torre Villar, n.º 37, p. 886).  As noted in the John Carter Brown description of the map:

The main purpose of this piece was to acquaint the new Viceroy with the extent of his empire and its relationship with the rest of North America.

The map shows the iconic Mexican symbols of an eagle and a serpent on a cactus with the royal coat of arms, a somehow idealized view between Mexico City, Heroica Puebla de Zaragoza and Veracruz. Furthermore at left the dedication signed by "P.J.E." (?) and illustrated with a native American, and below tables with distances, latitude and longitude, and also the zodiac signs of the principal cities.

Maps printed in Mexico in the 18th Century are extremely rare.  The present map's survival is even more exceptional in that it was made specfically for presentation to the Viceroy and was therefore almost certainly not available for sale or disseminated to the general public.

The map is an exceptional rarity, with no examples offered in dealer catalogs over the past 30 years and no auction records located in the past 100 years.  We locate copies at John Carter Brown (loose copy) and apparently an example bound into a composite atlas Mapas de America, pertencientes a la Real Academia de la Historia, Madrid, 1791, No. 5, as illustrated and described in Map #162 in Cartografia Del Siglo XVIII:  Tomas Lopez en la Real Academia de la Historia (Gomez & Porto, Madrid, 2006). There is also a contemporary manuscript variant example of the map in the Library of Congress.  We located no examples in Mexico and only the 1 example in the US.


Condition Description: Mounted on larger sheet of paper. Very minor foxing. A bit wrinkled, with minor evidence of old folds. Hinged to the larger sheet, with wide original margins.


Related Categories:
Maps of Baja California
Maps of California (California, Nevada, Arizona)
Maps of Mexico
Maps of the American Plains (Indian Territory, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota)
Maps of the Rocky Mountains (Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, New Mexico)
Maps of South America
Maps of Southwest America (Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Texas)
Maps of Texas
Maps of the United States