Exceptional dark impression of this rare map of America, published in Spain. This is a later state, with a substantially (perhaps completely) reengraved cartouche, compared with the one other example that we have previously handled.
The map shows a large Bay of the West and follows De L'Isle's map of America from the mid 18th Century. The cartography of the NW Coast of America follows Buache's maps, showing a large Sea of the West, with reference to Juan De La Fuca and Martin Aguilar. The interior detail shows a massive Mississippi Watershed, draining well over North America and reaching to New York and Pennsylvania with its eastern tributaries and probingly for a Northwest Passage to the West. The Solomon Islands are shown as are the Islands Discovered by Davide English in 1627.
While the map's cartography is fascinating and the Spanish nomenclature quite unusual, it is certainly the spectacular dark impression and massive margins that make this map truly remarkable. We have seen the map only once before, in poor condition, making this find quite exciting. Ornate decorative cartouche.
Two prior mentions in dealer catalogs in the past 25 years, neither of which could identify the maker.
Tomás López de Vargas Machuca (1730-1802) was one of Spain’s most prominent cartographers in the eighteenth century. He was born in Toledo but studied at the Colegio Imperial in Madrid, where he focused on mathematics, grammar, and rhetoric. Along with a small group of colleagues, in 1752 the Spanish government sent López for training in Paris with the renowned geographer Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d’Anville. When he returned to Spain he was named Geógrafo de los dominios de Su Magestad and put in charge of the geographic collections of Charles III. He published many maps, including his fascinating maps of the Americas, and a variety of geography manuals. Some of his most famous maps are of the Iberian Peninsula, part of his large project to create a majestic atlas of Spain. Unfinished in his lifetime, López's children published the Atlas Geográfico de España (Geographical Atlas of Spain) in 1804. It was republished in 1810 and 1830.