Detail of a woodcut, hand-colored map depicting North and South America. Visible details include Cuba, written as "CVBA", a compass rose, and text in Italian.
Detail of a woodcut, hand-colored map depicting Tropic of Capricorn, shown as "Capricorno," a branching river painted blue, a mountain range painted a soft red color, and a small castle.
Detail of a woodcut, hand-colored map depicting European countries Scotland ("Scotia"), England ("Inghelterra"), France ("Francia"), and Spain ("Spagna"). Italian text and small numbers indicate the altitude of geological features.
Detail of a woodcut, hand-colored map depicting Cuba ("Cvba"), Yucatan ("Ivcatan"), and the Haiti and the Dominican Republic ("Espanola"). Other details include latitude and longitude lines, a castle, and a boat.

La carta uniuersale della terra firma & isole delle Indie occidẽtali…


At the time of its production in 1534, this delicately colored early map of the Atlantic Ocean and the known New World was printed from one of the largest wood blocks yet used. Originally issued with Giovanni Battista Ramusio’s Summario de la Generale Historia de l’Indie Occidentali…, it is known as the ‘Ramusio Map’ and the JCB copy is one of only three surviving copies. The map is based on the group of maps produced by or under the direction of Diego Ribeiro, official cartographer to the Spanish Crown, and it reveals the extent of Spanish geographical knowledge of the New World in the 1530s. Its place names are thus based on early Spanish explorers (Estevan Gomez and Lucas Vásquez de Ayllón) but also include names that have survived the centuries: Florida, Panama, Cuba and Yucatan.

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