1747 Bowen Map of Spain and Portugal

A New and Accurate Map of Spain and Portugal. - Main View

1747 Bowen Map of Spain and Portugal


Decorative map of the Iberian Peninsula.


A New and Accurate Map of Spain and Portugal.
  1747 (undated)     15 x 18 in (38.1 x 45.72 cm)     1 : 3500000


This is a charming map of Spain and Portugal by the English cartographer Emanuel Bowen. It depicts the Iberian Peninsula including the islands of Majorca, Minorca and Ibiza. The map renders the entire region in extraordinary detail, noting mountains, rivers, roads, lakes, cities and other topographical features. Two insets are included in the bottom left and right quadrants respectively. The first features the Harbor of Port Mahon and the other details the Strait of Gibraltar with the coast of Spain from Cadiz to Malago.

It notes the provinces, as they appeared when the map was drawn, with New Castile and Old Castile being the most prominent at the center of the map. A former kingdom, this area eventually merged with its neighbors, and today comprises the autonomous regions of Castile y Leon in the northwest, and Castile-La Mancha and Madrid in the center and south of the country. Many of the provinces appear in their modern configuration. A decorative title cartouche adorns the top right quadrant. This map was prepared by Emanuel Bowen as plate no. 11 for the 1747 issue of A Complete System of Geography.


Emanuel Bowen (1694 - May 8, 1767) had the high distinction to be named Royal Mapmaker to both to King George II of England and Louis XV of France. Bowen was born in Talley, Carmarthen, Wales, to a distinguished but not noble family. He apprenticed to Charles Price, Merchant Taylor, from 1709. He was admitted to the Merchant Taylors Livery Company on October 3, 1716, but had been active in London from about 1714. A early as 1726 he was noted as one of the leading London engravers. Bowen is highly regarded for producing some of the largest, most detailed, most accurate and most attractive maps of his era. He is known to have worked with most British cartographic figures of the period including Herman Moll and John Owen. Among his multiple apprentices, the most notable were Thomas Kitchin, Thomas Jeffreys, and John Lodge. Another apprentice, John Oakman (1748 - 1793) who had an affair with and eventually married, Bowen's daughter. Other Bowen apprentices include Thomas Buss, John Pryer, Samuel Lyne, his son Thomas Bowen, and William Fowler. Despite achieving peer respect, renown, and royal patronage, Bowen, like many cartographers, died in poverty. Upon Emanuel Bowen's death, his cartographic work was taken over by his son, Thomas Bowen (1733 - 1790) who also died in poverty. Learn More...


Bowen, E., A Complete System of Geography. Being a description of all the countries, islands, cities, chief towns, harbours, lakes, and rivers, mountains, mines, etc., of the known world …, (London) 1747.    


Very good. Minor wear and verso repair along original centerfold. Minor spotting.


Rumsey 3733.010. OCLC: 49669271.