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Rare, large-format, Havana-published lithographed folding map of Havana.

The map was one of a number of beautiful maps of Cuban subjects made by de la Torre in the 1860s. Some of these maps were done in concert with the Colton firm. We have had a+general+map+of+Cuba , and another general+map+of+Cuba+with+insets .

The map includes the following insets:

  • Ceranias de la Habana
  • La Asuxcion de Guaxabacoa
  • Plano de los Pueblos Marianao y Quemados
  • Plano del Puerto de la Habana

The map was prepared by Jose Maria de la Torre, an attorney who was a member of the Royal Geographical Society of Havana, Royal Academy of History, Geographical Society of Paris and professor of geography and history of the Royal University of Havana.

José María de la Torre y de la Torre (1815−73) was an illustrious Cuban geographer, archaeologist, historian, and educator who devoted a great part of his intellectual life to the study of local Cuban history. De la Torre studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1841, but he never practiced as a lawyer, devoting himself instead to teaching. In 1848 he was commissioned to travel in the United States and Europe to study improvements in agriculture and the industrial arts, and to introduce them into Cuba. The results of this journey were very useful. He was a member of the Royal Academy of History of Madrid and other scientific and antiquarian societies.

His first major cartographic work was his map of 1841, which describes in detail the itineraries of the voyages of Christopher Columbus to the Americas. The map shows the routes of each of Columbus's three voyages, giving the dates on which he reached various places. It provides original place names as well as the names that Columbus gave to the different islands. The map also shows the distribution of the pre-Columbian cultures at the time of Columbus's first voyage, as understood by José María de la Torre. The originality of this map lies in its evocation of the aboriginal past, which, at the time it was made, helped to reaffirm the culture of the native peoples of the Americas. The island of Jamaica and the western part of Hispaniola (Haiti) also are shown.


Rare. No copies recorded at auction or in dealer catalogs. One copy in American Institutions at Princeton University. One copy of the 1867 edition and one of the 1866 edition at the BNE.

Condition Description
Folding lithographed map, dissected and backed on linen. Publisher's hand-color. Blank paper overlaid on one section of the left border, with some obscured loss of the border. Light toning and minimal scattered soiling.