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1740 Homann Map of the Holy Roman Empire ( Germanic Empire )

Imperii Romano-Germanici in suos Status et Circulos Divisi Tabula Generalis in Ustus Iuventutis Erudiendae… - Main View

1740 Homann Map of the Holy Roman Empire ( Germanic Empire )



Imperii Romano-Germanici in suos Status et Circulos Divisi Tabula Generalis in Ustus Iuventutis Erudiendae…
  c. 1720 (undated)     18.75 x 21 in (47.625 x 53.34 cm)


A beautifully detailed c. 1740 J. B. Homann map of those parts of Europe dominated by the Holy Roman Empire or the German Empire. Depicts most of central Europe from the Netherlands eastward as far as Poland and Hungary and as far south as northern Italy and the Gulf of Venice. Elaborate title cartouche in the upper left quadrant features the Emperor surrounded by angels and heraldic symbols. Map scales in upper right hand quadrant. Key to color coding outside border on lower margin. Alternative title in French in top margin, L' Allemagne, distinguee en ses Cercles & subdivisee en ses Etats, contenant ... los Elements de Geographiae de Mr. Shatz. This map was drawn in Nuremberg by J. B. Homann and included in the 1752 Homann Heirs Maior Atlas Scholasticus ex Triginta Sex Generalibus et Specialibus…. .


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 Nürnberg 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). More by this mapmaker...


Major Atlas Scholasticus Ex Triginta sex Generalibus et Specialibus Mappis Homannianis..., c. 1730. / Also issued in Homann's Grosser Atlas    


Very good condition. Minor discoloration along original centerfold. Nice dark impression. Bright original hand color. Blank on verso. Original platemark visible.


Stanford University, Map Collection, Germany 0284 a.