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Nicolas De Fer:  Cette Carte De Californie et Du Nouveau Mexique…1700 [The Island of California -- First Edition!]

Maps of California (California, Nevada, Arizona)

Title: Cette Carte De Californie et Du Nouveau Mexique…1700 [The Island of California -- First Edition!]

Map Maker: Nicolas De Fer

Place / Date: Paris / 1700

Coloring: Hand Colored

Size: 13.5 x 9 inches

Condition: VG+

Price: SOLD

Inventory ID: 47014


Scarce first edition of De Fer's map of California, published in Paris in 1700.

De Fer's map is one of the few regional maps to focus on California during the period it was mapped as an island, and one of the largest depictions of an insular California.

The map is primarily a product of the information reported back from California by Father Eusebio Kino, who had arrived in Mexico as a Missionary in the late 17th Century with the intentions of confirming that California was a peninsula, not an island.  Some of Kino's earliest work included updated cartographic descriptions of the Southern portion of Baja California, as he awaited his chance to proceed north to the source of the Sea of Cortez. This map and Scherer's maps of California and Baja California were heavily influenced by Kino, who ironically prior to the date of this map, produced his first map showing CA as a peninsula.

The map was engraved by Inseln, who also engraved Father Kino's seminal map which re-attached California to the mainland.  In fact, De Fer gives credit to the work of Kino as the major new source of information regarding missionary and Indian settlements in the region, along with updated geographical information about the rivers system and mountain ranges in California.  

On the present map, California appears with an indented northern coast and is labeled "Californias ó Carolinas." Aside from the popular misconstruction of California’s geography, the de Fer map is surprisingly accurate. New Mexico is shown covered with engraved numbers from 1 to 314 which correspond to an engraved key in the top right third of the map. The key identifies the names of 314 settlements, including Santa Fe, Taos, Pecos, El Paso, and all New Mexican pueblos. Twenty-three place names on the map are new. Northern New Mexican place names and Native American pueblos are true to Pere Kino’s original and reflect his minor displacement of northern villages.

One of the most detailed maps of California from this period, and a very well-documented and accurate picture of the settlement history of New Mexico and southern Arizona.

References: McLaughlin 1334; Wheat 78; Wagner 462.

Related Categories:
Maps of Baja California
Maps of California (California, Nevada, Arizona)

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