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.
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 1724, 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.
Very good. Light toning. Minor older extension to right margin. Else clean. Platemark visible. Blank on verso.