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Peter H. Meurer:

An invoice of 1546 for a delivery of maps from the Fugger trading house to Alonso de Santa Cruz: Supplementary Sources for the History of Cartography II

Cartographica Helvetica 16 (1997) 31–38


The early history of the map trade represents a very difficult part in the research on the history of cartography. The main reason for this fact is the lack of important and detailed records. A unique source are the accounts of the printing and publishing house Plantin of Antwerp, which have been kept since 1557. The oldest and only known map catalogue of the 16th century is the Indice delle tavole moderne di geografia by Antonio Lafreri (Rome, 1575).

Another document, discovered a few years ago, is the invoice written by the Fugger trading company (Augsburg, 1546) for a map delivery to Alonso de Santa Cruz in Madrid. The delivery consisted of 35 maps in one or more sheets and 8 books. Except for the second entry, a world map by Caspar Vopelius, no further details of any map author are mentioned. Nevertheless, a profound analysis leads to at least one possible solution for identifying each entry. The maps were delivered in a wooden barrel, of which the production costs were marked on the invoice as well.

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