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 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.
Homann, J. B., Maior Atlas Scholasticus…, (Nuremburg) c. 1710.
Very good. Original centerfold. Platemark visible. Blank on verso.