Fine example of this scarce map of the Western Hemisphere engrave for Magini's Geographiae Universae, first published in Venice in 1596..
The map follows the workd of Giovanni Lorenzo d'Anania, who published a very similar map in Venice in 1582 (Burden 54). The map is derived from Ortelius' map of America and retains many of the characteristics, most notably the bulge on the West Coast of South America. The treatment of the unknown Southern continent is noteworthy for its attachment to Nova Guinea and narrow passage, pre-dating Le Maire's voyage.
Including the Magini map, there are 6 maps of America with the same title and basic appearance, including D'Anania (1582), Botero (1595), Magini (1596), Magini-Keschedt (1597), Rosaccio (1595) and Botero--Giunti (1640). There are subtle distinctions in each of the plates, including size and detail, which help to distinguish the plates. The Magini can be most quickly distinguished by the stippling in the ocean between the words Mare and Pacifico.
Magini's map was re-issued in 1597, 1598 and 1616 in Venice and 16212 in Padua. The plate also appeared in 2 Italian editions of Ortelius' Epitome, published by Stefano Curti in Venice in 1679 and 1683 and in Raphael Savonarola's Univerus Terrarum Orbis Scriptorum, published in Padua in 1713. The latter map can be quickly distinguished from the others by its being set within a sheet of text.
The verso of the present example includes the plate numbers 278 and Nn2, as well as 10 lines of Latin text on the verso. Based upon this information and a comparison of the paginations with the 1597 Magini-Keschedt (first pubished in Cologne in 1597 and re-issued in 1608 in Cologne and 1617 in Arnheim, with the plate also used in Mattaeus Quad's 1600 Compendium Universi and Wilhem Lutzenkirchen's Enchiridion Cosmgrahicum of 1598, 1599 and 1604), we surmise that this is most likely from the 1596 edition of Magini's work, rather than a later state, as the pagination of the America map on the 1597 edition Magini-Keschedt is also page 278, whereas others include different numbers on the verso, and the plate strike in the present example is very sharp and early in the life of the plate (much more so than the edition illustrated in Burden). However, other than ruling out Curti editions (which should have Italian text on the verso) and the Savonarola edition (map set within text), we cannot definitively identify this example as the 1596 edition.
Giovanni Antonio Magini was an accomplished Italian cartographer, astronomer, astrologer, and mathematician—in short, a Renaissance man. Born in Padua, he studied philosophy in Bologna. His first publication was Ephemerides coelestium motuum, an astronomical treatise published in 1582. In 1588 he was selected, over Galileo Galilei, to fill the chair of mathematics at the University of Bologna. He died in that city in 1617.
Magini operated under a geocentric understanding of the universe and created his own planetary theory consisting of eleven rotating spheres. He published this theory in Novæ cœlestium orbium theoricæ congruentes cum observationibus N. Copernici (Venice, 1589). In the 1590s he published works on surveying and trigonometry, as well as invented a calculator. In 1596, he published a commentary of Ptolemy’s Geographia, which was published in several editions and languages. He labored for years on an atlas of Italy, which was printed posthumously in 1620. To pay for this project, Magini served as the math tutor to the son of the Duke of Mantua, as well as being the court astrologer to the Duke.