1730 C. Homann Map of Asia
Description: A rare and attractive 18th century map of Asia by German map publisher Johann Christoph Homann. Covers the entire continent of Asia as well as parts of Europe and northeastern Africa. This is essentially a revised and updated version of J. B. Homann’s 1712 map of Asia. Features some interesting and important updates. Most notably, we see the addition of the Kamchatka Peninsula in the upper right hand quadrant. The lower part of the peninsula is labeled “Kurilorum Regio”, no doubt an early reference to the Kuril Islands. While Hokkaido is not present, Japan itself is separated from the mainland by a small archipelago. Just east of these islands we see the Canal de Piecko, and beyond that a large and curious land mass labeled Compagnie Land. Compagnie Land is a mythical landmass that can be traced the work of an unknown Spanish pilot who supposedly traveled from China to New Span and published his finding along with the works of Thevenot. Present in both the 1712 map and this one, Compagnie’s Land could possibly be an early representation of Alaska or a misrepresentation of Hokkaido. Korea or Corea is present if misshapen in roughly the correct location. Further south New Guinea, New Britannia, Australia (New Holland), Hoch Land, and Carpentaria (part of Australia), are personated in tentative form with largely unexplored boundaries. At the center of the map the Caspian Sea is displayed according to the 1722 surveys of Karl van Verden. Bottom left quadrant features a decorative title cartouche displaying an enthroned king in Middle Eastern or Indian garb, exotic animals including a lion and leopard, trade goods, Camels, and bowing supplicants. A spectacular and important 18th century map of Asia.
Date: c. 1730 (undated)
References: Yeo, Julie, Mapping the Continent of Asia, #123.
Cartographer: Johann Baptist Homann (March 20, 1664 - July 1, 1724) was the most prominent and prolific map publisher of the 18th century. Homann was born in Oberkammlach, a small town near Kammlach, Bavaria, Germany. As a young man Homann studied in a Jesuit school and nursed ambitions of becoming a Dominican priest before converting to Protestantism in 1687. Following his conversion, Homann moved to Nuremberg and found employment as a notary. Around 1693 Homan briefly relocated to Vienna, where he lived and studied printing and copper plate engraving until 1695. Afterwards he returned to Nuremberg where, in 1702, he founded the commercial publishing firm that would bear his name. In the next five years Homann produced hundreds of maps and developed a distinctive style characterized by heavy detailed engraving, elaborate allegorical cartouche work, and vivid hand color. The Homann firm, due to the lower cost of printing in Germany, was able to undercut the dominant French and Dutch publishing houses while matching the diversity and quality of their output. By 1715 Homann's rising star caught the attention of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles the VI, who appointed him Imperial Cartographer. In the same year he was also appointed a member of the Royal Academy of Sciences in Berlin. Homann's prestigious title came with a number of important advantages including access to the most up to date cartographic information as well as the "Privilege". The Privilege was a type of early copyright offered to a few individuals by the Holy Roman Emperor. Though not as sophisticated as modern copyright legislation, the Privilege did offer a kind of limited protection for several years. Most all J. B. Homann maps printed between 1715 and 1730 bear the inscription "Cum Priviligio" or some variation. Following Homann's death in 1726, the management of the firm passed to his son Johann Christoph Homann (1703 - 1730). J. C. Homann, perhaps realizing that he would not long survive his father, stipulated in his will that the company would be inherited by his two head managers, Johann Georg Ebersberger and Johann Michael Franz, and that it would publish only under the name Homann Heirs. This designation, in various forms (Homannsche Heirs, Heritiers de Homann, Lat Homannianos Herod, Homannschen Erben, etc..) appears on maps from about 1731 onwards. The firm continued to publish maps in ever diminishing quantities until the death of its last owner, Christoph Franz Fembo in 1848. Click here for a list of rare maps from Johann Baptist Homann.
Size: Printed area measures 19.5 in height x 22.5 inches in width (49.53 x 57.15 centimeters)
Condition: Very good condition. Original centerfold. Original platemark visible. Blank on verso.
Code: Asiae-homann-1730 (to order by phone call: 646-320-8650)
© Geographicus Rare Antique Maps, Kevin Brown, 9/3/2014