M-9986: (Image: 13 7/8 x 19 ˝’’) ''HISPANIOLAE, CVBAE, ALIARVMQUE INSVLA...'' Antwerp: Abraham Ortelius, c. 1579 – with Tropic of Cancer erroneously labeled as Tropic of Capricorn. Verso text Latin. Engraved map with later hand coloring. First State, First Issue. (Ref: Van den Broecke #14a/b; Tooley, Maps and Map-Makers, p. 39; Nebenzahl, The Compass #14, Map 50 - illustrated; Prestel, America Early Maps of the New World, p.95 – illustrated).
This 16th century map (actually two maps on one sheet), with elegant lettering and elaborate title cartouches, is one of the earliest general maps of the West Indies to appear in print! The lower map depicts southern Florida, the Bahamas, Cuba, Jamaica, etc., southeast to Barbados. Major towns, cities and waterways are identified. Many of the Caribbean islands and their main features bear the same names today, nearly 400 years later. The upper map is the first printed delineation of northwestern Mexico (Sinaloa), which was then being actively colonized.
Published by Ortelius, this map is from the “first modern atlas” Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - which contained some of the most beautiful engravings of the late sixteenth century! Ortelius’ strong sense of composition and design make his maps not only historically important, but aesthetically pleasing as well!