Description: Paul Rapin de Thoyras (1661-1725) (editor and author), Nicholas Tindal (translator), Richard William Seale (d. 1785) (artist and engraver).
An 18th century British map of the North American continent decorated with an elaborate rococo cartouche. The map indicates routes of famous Caribbean explorers. It also features mountains shown as raised topography, and an explanation key shows symbols for "European Cities and Towns, Indian Towns, Forts and Castles."
Native American regions such as "Apaches de Navaio" are also shown. Shaded areas in waters marked with arrows indicate the trade winds.
This map was produced at a transitional point in terms of European understanding of the geography of the New World -- the Mississippi Valley, Mexico, the Great Lakes, and the Atlantic Coast are portrayed in detail with great accuracy. The northwestern portion of the continent, however, is labeled "Parts Unknown" and California is depicted as an island.
Indeed, this map has the distinction of being one of the last to perpetuate that misinformation about California, which had influenced cartography for some 145 years. The story of California as an island began with a mistaken journal entry by a Spanish explorer in 1602, and even though some 100 years later another explorer concluded that California was attached to the continent, it took a royal edict by King Ferdinand VI of Spain to establish that as fact.
In the meantime, many maps continued portraying it as an island, and here it is unusually large and distinct.
Condition: Generally very good overall with the usual light toning, wear, soft creases. Vertical fold, as issued, now professionally flattened. Professionally deacidified.
Location of Origin: Europe
Medium/Materials: Hand-colored engraving
Dimensions: 14.5 x 18.25 inches, blue border; 15.25 x 19 inches, platemark; 15.75 x 19.5 inches, overall
Primary Classification: Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Maps : Maps, Views and Celestials : Americas
Secondary Classification: All Other Categories : By Style / Period
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