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Details 1697 Sandrart Map of Africa (one of the first maps engraved by Homann)

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

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

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


A richly detailed debut work by one of the most prolific German mapmakers of the early 18th Century.


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


This is Jacob Sandrart's scarce, separately published 1697 map of Africa. While cartographically derived from the influential 1670 Totius Africae Accuratissima Tabula by Frederic de Wit, this map is notable for being the first or second signed engraving by Johann Baptist Homann, who would become one of the most important German map publishers of the 18th century. (The other contender is Sandrart's map of the Americas, similarly derived from the work of De Wit.) These maps' production in 1697 just preceded the opening of Homann's own shop, in 1702.
Rich Detail
This map follows many of the typical conventions of the period, derived from Frederic De Wit's 1670 map of the continent. The map consequently reveals a contrast between a strong understanding of Africa's coastal region with a deep ignorance of the interior. On the west coast of the continent several Dutch trading stations, including Fort Nassau and Acara, are noted. In the Atlantic, here identified as the Oceanus Aethiopicus, the island of Nuestra I. de Santa Helena, a common feature of contemporaneous French maps by Sanson and others, is identified.

Following De Wit, the Nile follows the Ptolemaic model drawing its waters from two great lakes in the southern part of the continent, Zembre (Lake Zaire) and Zaflan.
A Fascinating, Bloodthirsty Cartouche
While the body of the map is derivative, the cartouche is a completely unique work, perhaps revealing the self-taught engraver's youthful proclivities as much as his considerable gifts. The foreground shows tribal leaders arrayed in opulent splendor, while lounging with a lion and what appears to be a fat tailed sheep, while snakes and lizards scurry about. Meanwhile, scimitar-bearing warriors astride Arabian steeds in the background ride down a captive in order to take his head. One rider brandishes a severed head. For the European, the exotic was not merely exciting: it was frightening.
Passing the Torch
Mapmaking in the seventeenth century was dominated by publishers in Amsterdam, Paris, and to a lesser extent London; the latter part of the century saw a flourishing of the mapmaker's art in Italy, particularly in the work of De Rossi, Cantelli, and the inimitable Vincenzo Coronelli. Nuremberg looms large in printing history for having been home to Schedel's 1493Liber Chronicarum, but does not appear prominently among map producing cities until the end of the 16th century with the advent of mapmakers like Sandrart, and Pufendorf, finally flourishing under Homann. (It is likely that the depredations of the Thirty Years' War, which halved Nuremberg's population in the first half of the seventeenth century, contributed to the city's late contribution to cartography.)
Publication History and Census
The dating of Sandrart's maps is very uncertain, as he never produced a formal atlas. His separately-published works continued to be added to composite atlases well into the 18th century, adding to the confusion. Here we are following Betz, who dates it c. 1697 to correspond with dated examples of 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 before converting to Protestantism in 1687. Following his conversion, Homann moved to Nuremberg and found employment as a notary. Around 1693, Homann briefly relocated to Vienna, where he lived and studied printing and copper plate engraving until 1695. 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. Original hand color. Blank on verso.


OCLC 159834654, 54620077. 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.