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A Superb Example of
The First Printed Map to Focus on California

California. WYTFLIET, C. [Louvain, 1597]
Granata Nova Et California. 9 x 11 1/2 inches
Fine condition.


A mint example. “The first printed map devoted to California and the southwest of the present-day United States" (Burden). It summarizes the cartography of the area shortly before its depiction as an island. However, the map does contain the major geographical fallacies of the area derived from imaginative Spanish narratives that had been perpetuated by the usually more reliable Dutch cartographers, Ortelius and Mercator. The most prominent of these is the so-called New Mexico Lake, which is surrounded by the fabled seven cities of Cibola, based on Father Marcos de Niza’s fantastical account of his journey of 1539. From the lake, an equally fictitious river flows into the Gulf of California. However, many of the other place names on the map (Axa, Tontontess, Granata, Marata, etc.) are of actual places and were derived from Coronado’s now lost map of his expedition. The map is known in a single state.

Burden 106; Wheat, Transmississippi West, I, p. 28.

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