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Description

Beautifully-colored example of this rare map of North America, showing California as an Island. The map was made by Heinrich Scherer and is characteristic of his richly-engraved distinctive style.

Scherer's Atlas Novus was a seven-volume compendium that demonstrated his unique style and devout Jesuit values. The atlas was produced by a young Johann Baptiste Homann and others. Its focus on regions classified by religious influence leads to some calling the first "thematic atlas". 

Lighter shades denote regions where missions are located and, according to the cartouche, the habitants have been 'illuminated in true faith.'

The map is richly decorated with cartouches held aloft by cherubs, a fabulous sea monster, and a large ship bearing Jesuit priests sailing in the Atlantic.

A large vignette scene of Christ in a wheat field depicts him surrounded by six followers with sickles, probably a reference to Luke 6:1-11. Plaques above and below quote passages from Matthew and John regarding spreading the gospel.

Reference
McLaughlin 162