The first map to accurately depict Luzon in the Philippines
By MAZZA, Giovanni Battista , 1589

Asiae Nova Descriptio.

Asia Continent of Asia
  • Author: MAZZA, Giovanni Battista
  • Publication place: [Venice
  • Publisher: Donati Rascicotti formis. Govanni Battista Mazza fece.
  • Publication date: c1589].
  • Physical description: Engraved map, fine original hand-colour, small hole next to Caspian Sea skilfully repaired, minor loss to corners skilfully repaired.
  • Dimensions: 335 by 460mm (13.25 by 18 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 16237


Unrecorded second state of Govanni Battista Mazza map of Asia.

Mazza’s work is notable as the first map to accurately depict and name Luzon.

“Ortelius flourished just a bit too early to have mapped the ‘true’ island of Luzon. That omission was subsequently corrected by the Italian geographer Giovanni B. Mazza on a separately published adaptation of Ortelius’ map of the Asian continent. Probably dating from around 1590. Mazza adds ‘Luconia’ (Luzon) in a roughtly recognizable shape” (Suarez)

The map was published as part of a set of the four continents. Although none of the extant examples bear a date; a date of circa 1589 has been convincingly suggested for the map of America by Suarez and Casten in their 1995 article published in issue 70 of The Map Collector.

Little is known about Govanni Battista Mazza an engraver working in Venice at the end of the sixteenth century. He is known to have engraved a magnificent world map for Giuseppe Rosaccio in 1597, and the present map is part of a set of the four continents.

The present example is an unrecorded second state with the imprint of Mazza and Rascicotti erased.

Rare; we are only able to trace one institutional example of the first state: The National Library of Asutralia.


  1. Suarez, Thomas, ‘Early Mapping of South East Asia’, p.170.