SCHERER, Heinrich (1628-1704). Geographia Naturalis sive Fabrica Mundi sublunaris ab Artifice. - Geographia Hierarchica sive Status Ecclesiastici Romano-Catholici per Orben Universum. Munich: Bencard, 1710; Munich: Rauchin, 1703.

$ 37,000.00

2 parts in one volume. 4to., (10 3/8 x 8 1/8 inches). 3 Half titles, general title-page, 2 sectional title-pages.  2 exceptionally fine allegorical engraved frontispieces and 31 fine double-page engraved maps. Contemporary sheep (a bit worn).  

First edition of parts one and two of Scherer's celebrated "Atlas Novus". Containing a series of beautiful maps showing the extent of Catholicism throughout the world.

Scherer was a Professor of Hebrew, Mathematics and Ethics at the University of Dillingen until about 1680, Official Tutor to the Royal Princes of Mantua and Bavaria, and latterly in Munich as Tutor to the Princely house of Bavaria. As the cartographer of the celebrated world atlas, "Atlas Novus", first published in Munich between 1702 and 1710 and reissued in a second edition between 1730 and 1737, Scherer is acknowledged for his revolutionary work in terms of the development of European mapmaking at the beginning of the 18th Century.  His "Atlus Novus" is one of the first thematic atlases, each part covering a different classification; the first being 'Geographia Naturalis'.

"As a Jesuit , Scherer concentrated on the spread of missions around the world  Including a number of maps related specifically to the Americas:

"Idea naturalis Americae Borealis digito Dei formata geographice proposita", 1700;

"Figura naturalis Americae Australis Divino artificio constructa geographice", 1700;

"Imago totius orbis terraquei cum suo apparatu ab auctore naturae in suas partes distribute geographice exhibita", 1700;

"Repraesentatio totius orbis terraquei cuius partes,…";

"Religionis Catholicae in America Boreali…";

"Repraesentatio Americae Borealis…";

"Delineatio nova et vera parties australis Novi Mexici, cum insulae Californiae…";

"Religionis Catholicae Australi Americae…";

"Repraesentatio Americae Australis…";

"Societas /iesu…"  

Each map is richly decorated with cartouches held aloft by cherubs, fabulous sea monsters, and large ships bearing Jesuit priests sailing in the Atlantic. California is depicted as an island in all maps.  

The  map "Repraesentatio Americae Borealis" is engraved with various shading to show the areas converted to Christianity, those exposed to the gospel, and those still unenlightened. Lighter shades denote where missions are located and, according to the cartouche the habitants have been 'illuminated in true faith.' The entire Pacific region contains a scene of Christ in a wheat field surrounded by six followers with sickles. Plaques above and below quote passages from Matthew and John regarding spreading the gospel.  " Idea naturalis Americae Borealis digito Dei formata geographice proposita" shows the Mississippi River originating in two large lakes in  present-day Canada, and  small part of the imaginary land of Anian is separated from the mainland by the Fretum Anian.  The rough outline of Australia, as Nova Hollandia is shown in the two maps "Religionis Catholicae per totam Asiam…" and "Repraesentatio totius asiae ..". Burden 755; McLaughlin #162; Tooley (Amer) plt. #60; McLaughlin 128; Tooley 85; McLaughlin #160; Tooley (Amer) p. 131 #86; McLaughlin #129. Catalogued by Kate Hunter