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1710 Homann Map of Northern Poland, Konigsburg (Kaliningrad), and Lithuania

Regnum Borussiae Gloriosis auspicys Serenissimi et Potentissimi Prin Friderich III. - Main View

1710 Homann Map of Northern Poland, Konigsburg (Kaliningrad), and Lithuania



Regnum Borussiae Gloriosis auspicys Serenissimi et Potentissimi Prin Friderich III.
  1710 (undated)     19 x 22.5 in (48.26 x 57.15 cm)


A stunning c. 1710 map of the Baltic coast consisting of northern Poland (Borussiae), Konigsburg (Kaliningrad), and parts of Lithuania, by the Nurmburg cartographer J. B. Homann. The map covers from German Pomerania eastward to Lithuania and Belarus and from the Baltic Sea to Torun (Thorn). Includes the major cities of Gdansk (Dantzig), elblag (elbing), Malbork (Marienburg), Lidzbark Warminski (Hielsberg), Koningsberg (modern day Russia), and Chelmno (Culm). Mountains and forests are rendered in profile following Homann's typical stylistic conventions. An elaborate decorative cartouche bearing numerous allegorical elements fills the Baltic Sea, top center. The cartouche celebrates the Konigsberg assentation of Frederick III of Brandenburg, who crowned himself King of Prussia on January 18, 1701. While Frederick, now the Frederick I of Prussia, had an uneventful reign, his Grandson, Frederick the Great would eventually consolidate this region into Brandenburg-Prussia. This area was returned to a reconstituted Poland by the Treaty of Versailles following World War II. The map was engraved by J. B. Homann and printed in Nuremburg, Germany.


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 NĂĽrnberg 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...


Homann, J. B., Maior Atlas Scholasticus…, (Nuremburg) c. 1710.    


Very good. Original centerfold. Platemark visible. Blank on verso.