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1703 Scherer map of the Pacific with California and Japan in mirror and California as an island

Place/Date: Munich / 1703
Title: Tantum Distamus Ap Invicem
23 x 34 cm (9.1 x 13.4 in)
Condition Rating
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An intriguing and very unusual depiction of the Pacific North West of America and the North East of Asia first published in Heinrich Scherer’s Atlas Novus. Whereas North America is usually depicted to the east of Asia, Scherer here has reversed the view.

Of particular interest with this rare map is the depiction of California. California was for the the better part of a century depicted as an island. However, this theory would be disproved following Father Eusebio Francisco Kino’s mission to Baja California in 1701. Although his findings would only be published 1705, cartographers such as Scherer and Nicolas De Fer began to contemplate Baja California as a peninsula. That being said, this map continues to perpetuate the California as an island myth.

Scherer’s rare maps are renown for their beauty, distinctive iconography, and thematic cartography. The use of ships and sea monsters with a subtle but striking cartouche makes this rare map an interesting addition to any collection.


Condition Description

One chip along bottom edge, else very good.


McLaughlin No. 159.

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