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One of the few regional maps of California as an Island and one of the largest. The map is primarily a product of the information reported back from California by Fra. 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 to 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. McLaughlin 1334; Wheat 78; Wagner 462.

Nicolas de Fer Biography

Nicholas de Fer (1646-1720) was the son of a map seller, Antoine de Fer, and grew to be one of the most well-known mapmakers in France in the seventeenth century. He was apprenticed at twelve years old to Louis Spirinx, an engraver. When his father died in 1673, Nicholas helped his mother run the business until 1687, when he became the sole proprietor.

His earliest known work is a map of the Canal of Languedoc in 1669, while some of his earliest engravings are in the revised edition of Methode pour Apprendre Facilement la Geographie (1685). In 1697, he published his first world atlas. Perhaps his most famous map is his wall map of America, published in 1698, with its celebrated beaver scene (engraved by Hendrick van Loon, designed by Nicolas Guerard). After his death in 1720, the business passed to his sons-in-law, Guillaume Danet and Jacques-Francois Benard.