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Description

Rare first state of Nicolosi's important four sheet map of North America, the first printed map to accurately depict the course of the Rio Grande River flowing into the Gulf of Mexico.

Nicolosi bases his map on Sanson's map of 1650, with several notable changes. For example, the Great Lakes are based upon Sanson's map, as is much of the nomenclature along the East Coast. However, in the West, there are several very important differences. The Rio Grande (named Rio Escondido) is shown flowing Southeast into the Gulf of Mexico for the first time ever on a printed map, with an elaborate set of tributaries. The lake which historically fed this river when it was flowing into the Gulf of California has disappeared.

Nicolosi's treatment of the NW Coast of America is also unique. Nicolosi depicts a very distinct open water course from the Atlantic to Button's Bay and on to the Pacific Ocean, one of the most ambitious depictions of the NW Passage on a printed map of the period. Various Spanish, French, English and Dutch settlements are noted, including Bristow, Orange, Plimou[th], New Amsterdam, Jamestown, S. Matteo and S. Augustine and Richelieu. The name Costa d. Canibali is shown prominently to the east of the Windward Islands.

In 1652, motivated by Sanson's new work, the Propoganda Fide of Rome hired G.B. Nicolosi, who in turn published his Dell' Hercole e Studio Geografico, published in 1660 and 1671. The 4 sheet maps of the continents have become celebrated rarities, which incorporate Nicolosi's meticulous work with a quite unusual presentation style.

Reference
Burden 355; McLaughlin 23; Wheat 53; Leighly 38.