This is a beautiful 1701 map of southern South America by Herman Moll. It covers from Paraguay south to the Strait of Magellan and Tierra del Fuego, and includes the modern day nations of Paraguay, Chile, Uruguay and Argentina, with the southern portions of Brazil and Bolivia. The map renders the entire region in extraordinary detail offering both topographical and political information with the Andes Mountains beautifully rendered in profile. This map, like most early maps of the area, offers a fairly accurate mapping of both the east and west coasts with exceptional detail, while the interiors are mapped speculatively.
The Strait of Magellan is mapped in detail. Discovered in 1520 by the Portuguese sailor Ferdinand Magellan, the first explores circumnavigate the globe, this natural channel linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans though a challenging route to navigate -given the unpredictable winds and currents-, is the fastest connection between the two oceans. To the east of Terra del Fuego, Moll notes 'Bouwers Land.' This is most likely modern day Isla de los Estados or Staten Island, named after Hendrick Brouwer who recorded the sighting of the island in 1643.
Moll notes a speculative land mass to the west of Chile called 'Davis' Land' or Terre de Davis. Located roughly where Easter Island is today, Terre de Davis or Davis' Land was supposedly discovered in 1688 by an English navigator of the same name. Many historians argue whether or not Davis Land was actually Easter Island, but it does seem likely.
A small inset of Pepyses Islands (actually apocryphal, but bearing an uncanny resemblance to the Falklands) is included in the lower right quadrant of the map. This map was issued in Herman Moll's 1701 System of Geography.
Herman Moll (1654 - 1732) was an important 18th century map publisher and engraver based in London and Holland. Moll's origins are disputed with some suggesting he was born in the Netherlands and others Germany - the Moll name was common in both countries during this period. Most likely Moll was a German from Bremen, as his will, friends, and contemporaries suggest. What is known for certain is that he moved to London in 1678, possibly fleeing the Scanian War, where he worked as an engraver for Moses Pitt and other London map publishers. Around the turn of the century, Moll set up his own shop where he produced a large corpus of work known for its high quality and decorative flair. As a new émigré to England, Moll made himself more English than the English, and through his cartography proved a fierce advocate for his adopted nation. Most of Moll's early maps were issued as loose sheets that would be bound to order, however, he did publish several important atlases late in his career. Moll is said to have made the bold claim that without a doubt "California is an Island" and that he "had in [his] office mariners who have sailed round it." While California may not be an island (yet), it is true that moll had talent for attracting interesting friends and acquaintances. He frequented London's first stock exchange, Jonathan's Coffeehouse at Number 20 Exchange Alley, Cornhill. At the time Jonathan's was known as "a place of very considerable concourse for Merchants, sea faring Men and other traders" (Erleigh, The Viscount, The South Sea Bubble, Manchester: Peter Davies, Ltd., 1933, 21). Eventually this activity attracted the interest of stock brokers, who inspired by sailor's tales, sponsored the ill-fated South Sea Company, the world's first stock bubble. Moll's close circle, mostly from the Coffee House, included scientist Robert Hooke, the writers Daniel Defoe (Robinson Crusoe) and Jonathan Swift (Gulliver's Travels), the pirates William Dampier, William Hacke and Woodes Rogers, and the archeologist William Stukeley. Herman Moll's work was highly regarded for its decorative beauty and was pirated, most notably by the Irish publisher George Grierson, both in his lifetime and after his 1732 death at St. Clement Danes, London. Learn More...
Moll, H., A System of Geography: Or, A New and Accurate Description of the Earth In all its Empires, Kingdoms and States (London), 1701.
Herman Moll's A System of Geography was first published in 1701. A System of Geography was essentially a larger version of Timothy Childe and Abel Swall's 1695 Thesaurus Geographicus, for which Moll engraved several maps. The enormous success of the Thesaurus Geographicus most likely provided the inspiration for Moll to publish a more complete atlas of his own, which finally resolved into the 1701 issue of A System of Geography. The additional maps included in A System of Geography were stamped 'New' to distinguish them from those rolled over from the Thesaurus. A System of Geography was issued in two parts containing numerous maps as well as extensive descriptive text. It was printed in London by both Timothy Childe and J. Churchill.
Very good. Original platemark visible. Minor spotting. Text on verso.
OCLC: 6460837. New York Public Library, Map Division, b15373374.