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Details 1697 Sandrart Map of Africa (one of the first maps engraved by Homann)
1697 (undated) $1,400.00

1697 Sandrart Map of Africa (first map engraved by Homann)

Accuratissima Totius Africae Tabula in Lucem producta per Iacobum de Sandrart Norimbergae. - Main View

1697 Sandrart Map of Africa (first map engraved by Homann)


One of two earliest known maps engraved by Homann - long before he opened his own firm.


Accuratissima Totius Africae Tabula in Lucem producta per Iacobum de Sandrart Norimbergae.
  1697 (undated)     19.5 x 23 in (49.53 x 58.42 cm)     1 : 19200000


An uncommon map, this is Jacob Sandrart's 1697 map of Africa. The map covers the continent in full as well as the adjacent parts of Araba, Europe, and the Cape Verde and Canary Islands. The Prime Meridian runs through Ferro Island. Cartographically Sandrart has followed the DeWitt model of 1660. Both maps, as was standard during prior to explosion of African exploration in the 19th century, Sandrart relies heavily on Ptolemy to populate the interior - including rendering the speculative sources of the White Nile in two great inland lakes, Zaire Lacus and Zatlan Lac.

The elaborate decorative cartouche in the lower left quadrant bears some attention. The cartographer intended the cartouche to illustrate the flora, fauna, and cultures of Africa - at least as they were perceived by Europeans of the period. The cartouches shows tribal leaders arrayed in opulent splendor while lounging on a lion with fat tailed sheep and Arabian steeds in the background. A hapless captive appears about to be beheaded in a river while and snakes and lizards abound.

This is notably one of only two known maps engraved by Johann Baptiste Homann before 1700, thus very early in his career and some 12 years prior to founding his own legendary publishing house. Homann's imprint appears in the lower right quadrant. This map was never published in an atlas, but was rather sold separately and tipped into various composite atlases. Consequently it has been very difficult for scholars to date. Here we are following Betz, who date it c. 1697 to correspond with Sandrart's other work.


Jacob von Sandrart (1630 - 1708) was a German publisher and artist active in Nuremburg in the late 17h century. Sandrart was born in Frankfurt-on-Main but relocated to the publishing center of Nuremberg to study painting under his uncle Joachim von Sandrart and engraving under notated cartographer Cornelius Danckerts. By 1656 he was one of the most responded portraitists and art dealers active in Nuremberg. Sandrart did not produce any known atlases, but he did publish a number of maps, most of which focused on Central Europe. More by this mapmaker...

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. Nonetheless, he converted to Protestantism in 1687, when he was 23. It is not clear where he mastered engraving, but we believe it may have been in Amsterdam. Homann's earliest work we have identified is about 1689, and already exhibits a high degree of mastery. Around 1691, Homann moved to Nuremberg and registered as a notary. By this time, he was already making maps, and very good ones at that. He produced a map of the environs of N├╝rnberg in 1691/92, which suggests he was already a master engraver. Around 1693, Homann briefly relocated to Vienna, where he lived and studied printing and copper plate engraving until 1695. Until 1702, he worked in Nuremberg in the map trade under Jacob von Sandrart (1630 - 1708) and then David Funck (1642 - 1709). Afterward, 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. Due to the lower cost of printing in Germany, the Homann firm could undercut the dominant French and Dutch publishing houses while matching their diversity and quality. By 1715, Homann's rising star caught the attention of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles 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 several significant 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 very few by the Holy Roman Emperor. Though less sophisticated than modern copyright legislation, the Privilege offered 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 1724, the firm's management 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 (1695 - 1760) and Johann Michael Franz (1700 - 1761), 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 (1781 - 1848). Learn More...


Very good. Light toning. Minor older extension to right margin. Else clean. Platemark visible. Blank on verso.


Betz, R., The Mapping of Africa A Cartobibliography of Printed Maps of the African Continent to 1700, #165. Norwich, O. I., Norwich's Maps of Africa: An Illustrated and Annotated Cartobibliography, #61. Afriterra, 768. OCLC 159834654, 54620077.