Tierra Nueva

Rare first state of one of the earliest maps of the Eastern Seaboard.

Cartographer(s): Girolamo Ruscelli
Date: 1561
Place: Venice
Dimensions: 19 x 24.5 cm (7 x 9.6 in)
Condition Rating: VG

Out of stock


Important and rare map of the east coast of North America (the United States and Canada). It depicts an area stretching from Labrador to ‘La Florida’, with ‘La Bremuda.’ It shows the discoveries of Jacques Cartier’s first voyage to Canada and Verrazzano’s voyages around Cape Fear.

This map was engraved by Sanuto after Gastaldi’s 1548 map for the 1561 Ruscelli’s edition of La Geographia di Claudio Tolomeo. The Gastaldi prototype was the first printed map to report in any detail the results of Verrazzano’s seminal 1524 voyage, which shaped the modern conception of North America by demonstrating a contiguous coast from Florida to Nova Scotia. It was also the first to attempt to reconcile Verrazzano’s findings with those of Cartier’s voyages to the Maritimes and Gulf of St. Lawrence in the 1530s. As such, it was the first attempt at a regional map of the East Coast.

This example is from the first state (of three), with the platemark running off the top of the sheet, and the crack in the printing plate near Bermuda not very advanced.


Girolamo Ruscelli

Girolamo Ruscelli (1518–1566) was an Italian mathematician and cartographer active in Venice during the early 16th century.

Condition Description

Nice example in very good condition with some discoloration at the centerfold; clearly an early copy based on the dark and strong impression.


Burden, 30; Manasek figures 4.15 to 4.18, showing differing states; Kershaw pp 22-23.