Accuratissima Totius Africae Tabula in Lucem producta per Iacobum de Sandrart Norimbergae.
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 - the first map engraved by J. B. Homann. 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, the most important German map publisher of the 18th century. (The other contender is Sandrart's map of the Americas.) These maps' production in 1697 just preceded the opening of Homann's own publishing house, in 1702.
Rich DetailThis map follows the typical conventions of the period, derived from Frederic de Wit's 1670 Africa map. Here we can see the sharp contrast between a strong understanding of Africa's coast with a deep ignorance of the interior. On the west coast several Dutch trading stations, including Fort Nassau and Acara, are noted. In the Atlantic (Oceanus Aethiopicus), the apocryphal 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 CartoucheWhile the body of the map is derivative, the cartouche is a completely unique work, perhaps revealing the self-taught Homann's youthful proclivities as much as his considerable talent. 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. Another rider brandishes a severed head. For the 17th century European, the exotic was not merely exciting: it was frightening.
Passing the TorchMapmaking 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 1493 Liber 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.
Publication History and CensusThe dating of Sandrart's map is uncertain, as he never produced a formal atlas. His separately-published works appeared in 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. Learn More...
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 (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. Minor repairs to corners and verso reinforcement near the Bight of Biafra (Nigeria).
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.