Planiglobii Terrestris / Mappa - Monde
Nuremberg: Homann Heirs, 1746. Hand-coloured copper-engraved map, in very good condition except for a repaired tear near the center fold extending six inches from the bottom of the sheet, bottom margin re-inforced, mild soiling. Sheet size: 21 ¼ x 24 ¼ inches.
A very fine eighteenth-century World map, by an esteemed German map publishing house
During the seventeenth century map production was dominated by the large Dutch map houses. Following the decline of the great Dutch publishers, the Homann family became one of the most important map publishing houses in Germany. Founded in Nuremberg by Johann Baptist Homann in 1702, the Homann empire dominated Germany's map market for over a century. Homann published his first major atlas in 1707 and was soon after appointed Geographer to the Emperor. After Homann's death in 1724, the firm was continued by his son until 1730. The business was then bequeathed to his heirs with the stipulation that it conducted business under the name of Homann Heirs. The Homann family continued to produce maps until the beginning of the nineteenth century, and remained one of the most important German publishers on the Continent. They published a Neuer Atlas in 1714, a Grosser Atlas in 1737 and an Atlas Maior in 1780. In addition they issued an atlas of German town plans, numerous school atlases, and an atlas of 20 maps of Silesia. Their excellent work had a lasting impact on European maps during the eighteenth century.
The present map was compiled by J. M. Haas, a professor of mathematics at Wittenburg and is one of the finest double- hemispheric maps produced by the Homanns. The world is divided into two large hemispheres, which occupy the center of the map. They are surrounded by four smaller globes showing various views of the earth from various polar perspectives. In addition, there are two small diagrams depicting the axis of the earth in relation to the sun. Although California is no longer depicted as an island, the great northwest is still left blank above California, and Hudson's Bay still features an opening in its northwest corner. America's fanciful North West coast is based on the early Russian explorations in that area and includes imaginative views of the poles. Both Australia and New Zealand are incomplete, and Yedo is shown as part of mainland Asia north of Japan. The map is embellished with two highly decorative cartouches with titles in Latin and French. This fascinating impression includes a colour key attached to the bottom of the map, which assigns the various colours to the principal western religions. The inclusion of this specific colouring gives this map an alternate purpose by identifying the prominent religions of specific areas around the world.
Moreland & Bannister, Antique Maps (online edition).