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1730 C. Homann Map of Asia

Recentissima Asiae Delineatio : Qua Imperia, eius Regna, et Status, Unacum novissimis Russorum detectionibus circa Mare Caspium et Terram Yedso alias dict. per illor. Expedit. et Excursiones, factis sistuntur. - Main View

1730 C. Homann Map of Asia



Recentissima Asiae Delineatio : Qua Imperia, eius Regna, et Status, Unacum novissimis Russorum detectionibus circa Mare Caspium et Terram Yedso alias dict. per illor. Expedit. et Excursiones, factis sistuntur.
  c. 1730 (undated)     19.5 x 22.5 in (49.53 x 57.15 cm)


A rare and attractive 18th century map of Asia by German map publisher Johann Christoph Homann. Covers the entire continent of Asia as well as parts of Europe and northeastern Africa. This is essentially a revised and updated version of J. B. Homann's 1712 map of Asia. Features some interesting and important updates. Most notably, we see the addition of the Kamchatka Peninsula in the upper right hand quadrant. The lower part of the peninsula is labeled 'Kurilorum Regio,' no doubt an early reference to the Kuril Islands. While Hokkaido is not present, Japan itself is separated from the mainland by a small archipelago. Just east of these islands we see the Canal de Piecko, and beyond that a large and curious land mass labeled Compagnie Land. Compagnie Land is a mythical landmass that can be traced the work of an unknown Spanish pilot who supposedly traveled from China to New Span and published his finding along with the works of Thevenot. Present in both the 1712 map and this one, Compagnie's Land could possibly be an early representation of Alaska or a misrepresentation of Hokkaido. Korea or Corea is present if misshapen in roughly the correct location. Further south New Guinea, New Britannia, Australia (New Holland), Hoch Land, and Carpentaria (part of Australia), are personated in tentative form with largely unexplored boundaries. At the center of the map the Caspian Sea is displayed according to the 1722 surveys of Karl van Verden. Bottom left quadrant features a decorative title cartouche displaying an enthroned king in Middle Eastern or Indian garb, exotic animals including a lion and leopard, trade goods, Camels, and bowing supplicants. A spectacular and important 18th century map of Asia.


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 N├╝rnberg 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...


Very good condition. Original centerfold. Original platemark visible. Blank on verso.


Yeo, Julie, Mapping the Continent of Asia, #123.