Early photographic facsimile of the Western Hemisphere of the famed 1551 Sancho Gutierrez planisphere.
Sancho Gutiérrez is the author, in 1551, of a world map addressed to Carlos Quinto and based on the Padrón Real. It includes many details of the flora and fauna of the world and even monsters, following the medieval cartographic tradition. If it is modeled on Sebastian Cabot's planisphere of 1544, it includes unpublished elements, the result of the recent expeditions by Pedro de Valdivia to Chile and Ruy López de Villalobos to the Moluccas. The map is currently kept at the ÖNB Kartensammlung und Globenmuseum, Vienna.
Sancho Gutierrez was the son of Diego Gutiérrez and Isabel Hernández, he was probably born in Seville in 1516. He learned cosmography with his father until in 1539 when Sebastían Cabot and the cosmographers of the Casa de la Contratación approved his ability to make maps and instruments for navigation. However, he did not receive any official position before 1553. Then on May 18, 1553, he was appointed cosmographer of the Casa de la Contratación. In 1566, he participated in a meeting of cosmographers in Madrid on the question of the demarcation of the Treaty of Zaragoza (1529) and the rights of Castile over the Philippines. In May 1569 he was appointed to the chair of cosmography at the Casa de la Contratación.
This facsimile was owned by the famed early map scholar Edward Luther Stevenson who probably owned this and other related maps as part of his study of Sebastian Cabot.
Edward Luther Stevenson was among the most important scholars of early cartography active at the end of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th. He was responsible for numerous cartobibliographic books, including the first translation of Ptolemy to English, as well as a series of impressive facsimile maps produced while he was at the Hispanic Society of New York. Dr. Stevenson viewed facsimiles as integral to the study of early cartography, and he committed himself to building an unparalleled collection of photographs of early maps and globes. Much of his collection was donated to Yale University after his death (click on the title link above for about that), but the present item comes from a large collection of photos, manuscripts, and related material that were part of Stevenson's library, but were not donated to Yale. It is truly an impressive collection and many of the items, though reproductions, have serious antiquarian merit. As Alexander O. Vietor said about Stevenson collection that went to Yale "this is the stuff of which great libraries are made."