c 1705 Map of Americas - California as Island - Sanson/Mortier


“ATLANTIS INSULA…” Gulielmi Sanson Nicolai Filii.  Amsterdam: Pierre Mortier, c. 1705.  (Image: 15 3/8 x 21 ½’’) 

Engraved map with original hand-coloring. (McLaughlin, The Mapping of California as an Island, #46 illustrated; Tooley #51). 

This VERY UNUSUAL  map depicts the Americas with California shown as an island (a misconception which continued well in to the 18th century). The title cartouche is surrounded by tall grass with the figure of Neptune and his ten sons, and notes the Americas as the mythical island of Atlantis!!

The map reflects the populating of the lost continent of Atlantis. The map shows the divisions of the land masses, as divided by Neptune among his sons. Thule island is shown, which at the time was believed to be the source of Nordic races, based upon the work of Heinrich Schliemann. Schliemann had taken Homer's Iliad and Odyssey and their accounts of the Trojan Wars to be literal truth. He then discovered ancient Troy in Asia Minor.

The map shows the cartographic knowledge of the Western World as of the middle of the 17th Century, with California shown as an island, the Dutch discoveries in Australia and New Zealand and the still mythical / conjectural configurations of Alaska, Japan and the lands between.

The Great Lakes, though depicted, are in a very distorted shape. A large lake in the western part of North America is the source of a river, which empties into the sea between the continent & the island of California. Most of the Asian & European coastlines & parts of New Guinea, New  Zealand and Australia are shown.  Mexico City & Cuzco are noted (the capitals of the New World).

Sanson, the leading 17th century French cartographer, was official mapmaker to Louis XIV.  Because of his royal position, Sanson had access to official French records of the explorations in the New World.

Considerable even toning and mat burn are evident from prior framing

.Shipped unmatted

  • Inventory# M-10899