By: Nicolas de Fer
Date: 1720 (Published) Paris
Dimensions: 18 x 26 inches (45.7 x 66 cm)
This is the largest representation of California as an island on a single-sheet map.
This map on water-marked paper covers the region from Cape Mendocino to the Gulf of Mexico and the mouth of the Mississippi River (mistakenly positioned), and from Santa Fe to Mexico City. The most important feature of the map is its depiction of California as an island.
Despite having been initially depicted as being part of the mainland in early maps by such cartographers as Gutierrez, Mercator and Ortelius, by 1620 it had begun to be shown as an island. This is often attributed to Spanish explorers whose erroneous geographic interpretations were borrowed (and stolen) by contemporaries who further disseminated their mistaken suppositions. Even Hondius subscribed to the idea in his atlas of North America in which he depicts California as an island. Despite explorations which disproved the idea, the island theory continued well into the 18th century, as demonstrated by this map.
This is a scarce and highly sought after map which rarely appears on the market, one which would make a handsome addition to any collection of North America or California. Its author, Nicolas de Fer, was a cartographer, engraver and publisher in Paris who was official cartographer to Pope Clement XI, and a number of European potentates including Philip V and Louis XIV.
Condition: This map is in A condition. The centerfold is reinforced with archival material on the verso.
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