|Contextual Notes||Nicolas de Fer (1646-1720) was a cartographer, a publisher and Royal Geographer in France. He was quite prolific, producing more than 600 maps including atlases, wall maps and sheet maps. In fact, he was able to publish three major atlases within a five-year span between 1700 and 1705. Much of his work includes maps of France and Europe. However, he is well known for his ornate decoration rather than accurate depictions. He was succeeded by his sons-in-law, J. F. Benard and G. Danet. His best known works include: "Costes de France" (1690), "Liége etc." (1693), "Introduction á la Fortification" (1693), "Atlas Royal" (1695, 1699-1702), "Petit Atlas" (1697), "Atlas Curieux" (1700-1705), "Atlas ou Recueil de Cartes Géog." (1709-22), "Introduction á la Géog." (1717), "Californie" (1720) (Tooley, "Tooley's Dictionary of Mapmakers" 206; Moreland and Bannister, 130; Portinaro and Knirsch, 314). |
Originally, this map was first issued in 1699. It was reissued in 1705 without any changes and again issued in 1717, this time with a new imprint including publication information. According to McLaughlin and Mayo, there are a total of six different states of the map starting with 1699 and ending in 1742 (55, entry 127). In this particular map, California is shown as an island, a common occurrence despite the fact that exploration information from Jesuit Father Kino revealed that California was a peninsula in 1705 (Tooley, "California as an Island" 61; Wheat, 66; Wagner, 324).
Source(s): McLaughlin, Glen and Nancy H. Mayo. "The Mapping of California as an Island: An Illustrated Checklist." Saratoga, CA: California Map Society, 1995.
Moreland, Carl and David Bannister. "Antique Maps: A Collector's Handbook." New York: Longman Group, Ltd., 1983.
Portinaro, Pierluigi and Franco Knirsch. "The Cartography of North America 1500-1800." New York: Facts on File, Inc., 1987.
Tooley, Ronald Vere. "Tooley's Dictionary of Mapmakers." Hertfordshire: Map Collector Publications Limited, 1979.
---. "California as an Island: A Geographic Misconception Illustrated by 100 Examples from 1625 to 1770." London: Map Collector's Circle, 1964.
Wagner, Henry R. "The Cartography of the Northwest Coast of America to the year 1800 Volume 2." Berkeley: University of California Press, 1937.
Wheat, Carl I. "Mapping the Transmississippi West." Volume 1. San Francisco: Institute of Historical Cartography, 1957.