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The Kraus Map Collection


Kraus 15, Americae et proximar[um] regionum orae descriptio (Circa 1589)

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Title   Americae et proximar[um] regionum orae descriptio
Alternate Title   A description of the coast of America and in neighboring regions.
Cartographer   Mazza, Giovanni Battista, fl. 1590-1597
Subject   America--Maps--Early works to 1800
Publisher   Rascicotti, Donato
Repository   Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
Place of publication
     or creation
Date(s)   Circa 1589
Format   Printed map
Kraus catalog no.   15
Dimensions in mm.   333 x 465 mm.
Rights   No known U.S. copyright restrictions. Please cite the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin, as the image source.


A separately published beautifully engraved map of the Americas, with parts of Africa, Asia, and "Terra Australis nondum cognita," incorporating all the newest discoveries.

Numerous engraved legends refer to the various explorers. Of special interest is the notation of the new Spanish settlement being attempted at the Strait of Magellan in 1582.

This fine map is the work of the outstanding engraver of maps G.B. Mazza, who also did Rosaccio's famous world map (see No. 24 in this catalogue). It seems to be a composite of two of Ortelius' maps: Americae sive Novi Orbis, Nova Descriptio (1587, see No. 17 in this catalogue) and Maris Pacifici... Descriptio (1589). A map with the identical title (see above), engraved by Francis Hogenberg (Wagner, No. 152) and dated 1589 is very similar to the present one. Since very little is known about Mazza and Rascicotti, it is not possible to determine which of the two maps was published earlier. Both the Hogenberg and the Mazza maps are of great rarity. Only three copies of the present map have been located by Wagner and Laying: in the Royal Library, The Hague; the University of Leyden; and in Ashburner's Lafreri Atlas.

Muller, Remarkable Maps, I, 12 (erroneously dated c. 1583).

Caraci, "Avanzi di una preziosa raccolta di carte geografiche . . .", in: Bibliofilia, XXIX, p. 185, no. 368.

Wagner, Cartography of the Northwest Coast of America, II, no. 159.

Laying (ed.), Sixteenth century maps relating to Canada, no. 665.

For Mazza and Rascicotti, see Almagia, Monumenta Cartog. Vaticana, II, p.118.