One of only two known examples complete with maps
By ANANIA, Giovanni Lorenzo d' , 1573

La Universal Fabrica del Mondo La Universal Fabrica del Mondo dell’eccell. m. Lorenzo Anania della citta di Tauerna cosmografo, et teologo ; doue s’ha piena notitia de i costumi, leggi, città, fiumi, monti, prouincie, & popoli del mondo.

Travel & Voyages
  • Author: ANANIA, Giovanni Lorenzo d'
  • Publication place: In Napoli
  • Publisher: Appresso Gioseppe Cacchis dell' Aquila
  • Publication date: 1573.
  • Physical description: First edition. Four parts in one volume. Quarto,(205 by 150 mm). Collation: A4-I4, K4-P4, Q1, Q3-Q5, R4-U4, X1-X2, A1-I4, K4-L4, A4-F4, A4-E4. Title-page with decorative half-page woodcut border and printer's device, 4 pages dedicatory epistle and poem, 2 pages authors consulted, 4 pages errata, Europe 82 numbered leaves, Asia 44 numbered leaves, Africa 23 numbered leaves, [1 leaf blank], and America 20 numbered leaves, 4 fine folding engraved maps on trapezoidal projections, 4 historiated 11-line woodcut initials, one 9-line, one 7-line, and one 3-line, woodcut head- and tail-pieces (some browning and a few pale mostly marginal stains). Contemporary limp vellum, yapp fore-edges, title in manuscript on the spine (chipped with minor loss at the foot of the spine).
  • Dimensions: 205 by 145mm. (8 by 5.75 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 12604


Exceptionally rare: one of only two known examples complete with all four maps of the continents, the only example in private hands, the other in the Biblioteca Nacional de España.

Anania’s “Fabrica” is an influential 16th-century geography, a comprehensive survey of Europe, Asia, and the Indies: the fourth part: “Quattro trattato del Nuovo Mondo”, 20-pages, concerns the Americas, and is illustrated with a superb map of North and South America and Terra del Fuego, with a portion of Greenland visible upper right entitled “Peru”. This map, and the others in the book are very similar in style to Gastaldi’s maps published with Mattioli’s text of Ptolemy’s “La Geografia” of 1547-1548. Burden reports: “For knowledge of this extremely rare map, known in only two examples, the author is grateful to Dr. Frtiz Hellwig… Cartographically it is difficult to identify any sources clearly but the north-east coast of North America appears to derive from the Ruscelli ‘Tierra Nueva’ of 1561… A Forlani type river system appears in the west along with California”.

The other maps are:

“Europa” extending south to North Africa, east to Asia Minor (laid down, discreet repairs to old fold)

“Asia” extending from eastern Africa and the Nile to the East Indies, the Indian Ocean decorated with sea monsters and sailing ships (printer’s creases)

“Africa” the Atlantic and Indian oceans decorated with sea monsters and sailing ships

This first edition of Anania’s “La Universal Fabrica del Mondo” is rare. Presumably a very small print run achieved immediate success, with subsequent editions following shortly thereafter in 1576, 1582, and 1597.

Anania (1545 – 1609) was an Italian geographer, humanist, historian and theologian; the author of “De natura daemonum”, 1570, a treatise supporting the existence of the Devil. A scholarly man, “it is hard to find an authority whose writing was in print before 1573 whom he does not list in his bibliography or cite in his text” (Lach, Asia in the making of Europe, II, 1977, p. 230).


Near contemporary ownership inscription on the title-page, partially obscured; 19th-century shelf-marks on the front paste-down.


  1. Alden & Landis. European Americana, 573/4
  2. Burden 43
  3. Sabin 1364 (the 1576 edition).

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