Philadelphia: Mitchell, Samuel Augustus Jr. 1866.
Map. Engraving with original hand coloring. Image measures 13.25" x 21".
This unusual and rare double-hemisphere world map speaks to the position of Spanish empire in the late 17th century, both geographically and intellectually. Produced within the context of attempts to revive the empire's military power through the application of science, the map employs symbolic imagery and language to suggest Spain's return to dominance. A regal lion presides over the two hemispheres, draped with a ribbon that advises its reader in Latin to "temper his nobility with natural fierceness": in short, to be willing to work hard for success. Above, two delicate drawings of the sun convey the idea of an "empire on which the sun never sets," holding onto this phrase as applicable to the Spanish Empire%u2014as it was initially used%u2014rather than the rising British Empire. The map itself conveys the current extent of world geography from this strongly Spanish perspective, for example by retaining the label of "Nieu Nederland"%u2014rather than New England%u2014as a light against their British rivals. Throughout, delicate hand-coloring complements fine engraving to produce an overall fascinating document of the dynamics of imperial history.The map in very good condition. Some foxing and minor staining, some wear at original fold lines. Wide margins with no chips or tears. Manuscript notes in ink.Sebastian Fernandez de Medrano (1647-1705), was an Engineer, mathematician and Spanish geographer born in Mora (Toledo) in 1646 and died in Brussels, in 1705, whose real name was Sebastián Fernández de Mora. Under his leadership, the Military Academy in Brussels became a prestigious military training center. Richard Collins (1626, Luxembourg %u2013 1698, Brussels), was the Court engraver for Charles II of Spain.
Illustrator: W. Williams
Condition: Very Good