1748 Homann Heirs Map of India and Southeast Asia
Description: An attractive example of the western sheet of the Homann Heirs 1748 map of India and Southeast Asia. Details the subcontinent as well as much of Southeast Asia, including modern day Burma, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore and Sumatra. Extends north to include Delhi (Delly) and Agra as well as parts of Tibet. The apocryphal Lake of Chiamay, a cartographic error common in many early maps of this region, appears in vestigial form near Assam. Portuguese Goa is highlighted. Drawn by Tobias Meyer for the Homann Heirs in 1748.
Date: 1748 (dated)
References: National Library of Australia, MAP RM 2526.
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 20.5 in height x 17.5 inches in width (52.07 x 44.45 centimeters)
Condition: Good condition. Minor verso repairs along some of the original fold lines. Minor spotting and overall toning. Blank on verso.
Code: India-hmhr-1748 (to order by phone call: 646-320-8650)
© Geographicus Rare Antique Maps, Kevin Brown, 1/9/2014