The First State of Giacomo Rossi's Map of North America
Fine example of the first edition of Rossi's map of North America, based upon Sanson's seminal map, but with revised Italian nomenclature.
This decorative map appeared in Rossi's Mercurio Geographico…. The map includes a detailed California as an Island on Sanson's model, early open ended Great Lakes (one of the earliest appearances of the 5 Great Lakes) and a mislocated pre-La Salle/Jolliet/Hennepin Mississippi configuration, pushed well west of its true location and quite speculative in its course.
Nice detail in the Spanish Southwest along the Rio Grande, locating Taos and Santa Fe in the North and identifying Cibola. A number of early Indian names, including the Apaches and Zuni appear. A Lago de Oro is shown off the Gulf of California. Quivera appears in modern day Texas, along with Granada. The East Coast of North America includes many early place names, including N. Amsterdam, Chesapeac, Powhata, Gotheburg (an early Swedish Settlement), Bristou London, Plimouth, Nassau, Elsinburg, R. Iourdain, etc.
Giacomo Giovanni Rossi (1627-1691) was an Italian engraver and printer. He worked in Rome, the heir to an important printing business founded by his father, Giuseppe de Rossi (1570-1639). Giuseppe began the press in 1633 and Giovanni and his brother, Giandomenico (1619-1653) took it over upon his death. The brothers expanded the business and by the mid-seventeenth century it was the best-known printing house in Rome.
For his maps, Giovanni worked with Giacomo Cantelli da Vignola. They produced the Atlas Mercurio Geografico. The first edition is undated, but the second was issued in 1692, a year after Giovanni’s death. The maps were by Cantelli. The firm also published maps based on those of Nicolas Sanson.
Later, the business passed to Lorenzo Filippo (1682-?). By 1738, the firm was known as Calcografia Camerale, then, from 1870 to 1945, as the Regia Calcografica. Today, the firm is still in business and is called Calcografia Nazionale. It operates as a free museum and offers one of the best collections of prints and plates in the world.