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2006 Catalog > Heinrich Scherer, Parte Insulae Californiae

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3. Heinrich Scherer. “Delineatio Nova et Vera Partis Australis Novi Mexici, cum Australis Parte Insulae Californiae Saeculo Priori ab Hispanis Detectae” (Munich, 1703–1710). Published in Atlas Novus, Pars II: Geographia hierarchica. Copperplate engraving, black and white as issued. 9 x 14" at neat line. Sheet size: 10 3/4 x 14 1/2". Impressive title cartouche in u. l., featuring two New World natives holding a crucifix. Large, attractive compass rose at bottom right. Sea monsters and sailing ships embellish the map. A fine dark impression in mint condition.

Price: $1,250. [ ]

German cartographer Heinrich Scherer’s handsome eighteenth-century map of the southern tip of California and a portion of northwest Mexico is considered to be the first detailed depiction of the interior of today’s Baja. Scherer’s labeling of “Mar Vermijio o de las California,” the body of water to the east of the Baja, gives indication of California being an island, a myth that would soon be discredited by Scherer’s fellow Jesuit, the famous missionary Father Eusebio Kino. According to Burrus, Scherer’s map is actually based on a 1685 manuscript sent to him by Kino documenting the missionary’s exploratory expedition across the entire southern portion of lower California in 1684–1685. Scherer took Kino’s map and redrew it according to the style he had adopted for his important Atlas Novus, first published in Munich between 1702 and 1710, in which the Baja map appeared. Scherer’s map stands as a superb document of the European debate over the insularity of California and provides a fascinating record of Jesuit settlement in Lower California and western Mexico in the early eighteenth century.

Refs.: Burrus, Kino and the Cartography of Northwestern New Spain, p. 17, illustrated between pp. 36 and 37; Joppen, “Heinrich Scherer,” from Dictionary of Mapmakers at MapHist.com; McLaughlin, The Mapping of California as an Island, no. 158.

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