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First Views of the New World: Classic Rare Maps

During the last decade of the 15th century, Europeans discovered what came to be known as the New World. During the first decades of the 16th, their mapmakers began to connect the dots to form the first views of what Columbus, Cabot and others had seen with their own eyes. Our exclusive Perfect Recreations of these historic works of art are indistinguishable from the originals. Watch the Video

The 1508 World Map by Johannes Ruysch is a beautiful and fascinating map that shows the 1492-1504 discoveries of Columbus in the Caribbean. The map also includes the 1497 discoveries of Cabot, labeled Terra Nova, or Newfoundland.

The 1511 Sylvanus World Map was the first to be published in two colors: red and black. This lavishly illustrated map is considered to be the first depiction of continental North America.

Martin Waldseemüller's 1513 Tabula Terre Nove, was the first detailed map of continental land in the New World. Its maker, "the man who named America" in his 1507 map, corrected his naming error by eliminating the designation "America" and crediting Columbus with the discovery in this graphically dramatic 1513 map.

A decade later, the continuing Spanish exploration and conquest of the New World was documented on another beautiful woodcut map, the 1524 map by Hernán Cortés.

We complete this cartographic time travel with the elegant woodcut 1531 Oronce Finé Map of the World incorporating all the information gathered by Columbus, Cabot, Cortés, the Corte Reals and Magellan. Bon voyage!

These maps were loaned to us by Dr. Seymour I. Schwartz, the greatest private collector and co-author of The Mapping of America, the definitive reference work on the subject. We are honored by Dr. Schwartz's collaboration with us -- and you and we are privileged to read his descriptions of these maps in the "Full Story" section of the page dedicated to each map. We have the additional privilege of seeing and hearing Dr. Schwartz in the accompanying videos.

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