M-11935 (Image: 13 ¾ x 19’’) “HISPANIÆ NOVÆ NOVA DESCRIPTIO” Gerard Mercator. Amsterdam: Jodocus Hondius, c. 1609-13. Verso text French. Beautifully engraved map with later hand-coloring. (Ref: Phillips, #422).
This very handsome and extremely detailed map is one of the earliest to show the region of NEW SPAIN to include MEXICO CITY & GUADALAJARA - highlighting the important commercial center of the Spanish in the New World. The map depicts the region between present-day Mazatlan and just north of Acapulco. Topographical features are shown and described with major towns, cities (including Mexico City situated on a large lake as it was during the time of the Spanish Conquest), missions and Indian villages identified. At the mountain range in the north, the descriptive notes the rich deposits of silver to be found. Other annotations describe manners and customs of Indians. Three elaborate strap-work cartouches, beautifully engraved calligraphy, a large ship and impressive sea-monster add to the aesthetic appeal.