This is the lower left sheet of Fran Anton Schraembl's 1788 wall map of North America, offering a detailed depiction of Mexico and Central America, with a distinctive inset of Kino's expedition to Baja California. The inset, titled "P.Eusebius Franz Kino aus der G.J.entdeckte zwischen dem 1608 und 1701J.dass Californien eine Halbinsel sey," is a nod to Eusebio Kino's revelation between 1698 and 1701 that California was not an island, but a peninsula.
The late 18th century was a period of cartographic innovation and exploration, particularly in the Americas. The misconception of California as an island, prevalent in the 17th and early 18th century maps, was finally corrected by Jesuit missionary Eusebio Kino, after extensive exploration of the region. This map by Schraembl pays homage to Kino's discovery and offers a more accurate depiction of North America's western coast.
Franz Anton Schraembl, a Viennese map publisher and engraver, was known for his large-format maps. His 1788 map of North America, "Generalkarte von Nord America samt den Westindischen Inseln Versasst von Herrn. Pownall," of which this sheet is a part, follows in the footsteps of his predecessors such as Lotter and several British cartographers. However, his map is notably scarcer.
This map sheet, with its focus on Mexico and Central America and the notable inclusion of the corrected Baja California peninsula, is not merely a piece of geographical representation. It serves as a testament to the evolving understanding of North American geography during the late 18th century. Schraembl's decision to correct a long-standing cartographic error underlines the rigorous nature of his work and adds considerable historical and academic value to this piece.
Schraembl was born and worked in Vienna, where he was a mapmaker in the latter half of the eighteenth century. He began his business in 1787, partnering with Franz Johann Joseph von Reilly. He is best known for his large format atlas, the Allgemeiner Grosser Atlas. The atlas was finished in 1800, after twenty years of compilation and composition--it was the first Austrian world atlas. While a notable work, the atlas did not sell well, plunging Schraembl into financial difficulty. In response, Schraembl expanded his offerings to include literature and art. Upon his death, Schraembl's firm was taken over by his widow, Johanna, and her brother, Karl Robert Schindelmayer. From 1825, it was run by Franz Anton's son, Eduard.