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1733 Homann Heirs Map of India


1733 Homann Heirs Map of India




Peninsula Indiae citra Gangem, hoc est, Orae celeberrimae Malabar & Coromandel Cum adjacent Insula non minus celebratissima Ceylon Secundum prototypon Del' Islianum edita, insuperqs novissimis Observationibus correcta, et notates, quae cuivis genti Europaeae possidentur, terries et emporys, aucta, studio. Homannianorum Heredum Noriv. MDCCXXXIII Cum Privilegio S.C.M.
  1733 (dated)     22 x 19 in (55.88 x 48.26 cm)


A rare map of India and Ceylon issued in 1733 by the Homann Heirs. Covers the subcontinent roughly from Bombay south to Cape Comorin and includes all of Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Homan offers good detail along the coast naming numerous ports and, where appropriate, appending either an English, French, Danish, Dutch or Portuguese flag to indicate the European power laying claim to that port. The interior is more vague, though many of the major caravan routes are noted, if only speculatively. There are numerous annotations in Latin throughout. Homann also identifies various battle sites associated with the southward progress of the Mughal Empire in 1707. When Homann drew this map, only Madras, Malabar, Ceylon, and the European ports remained independent of Mughal control. A large title cartouche depicting Indian traders and an elephant appears in the lower left quadrant.


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 1726, 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.


Seutter, Matthaeus, Atlantis Geographicus Maior, [Grosser Atlas], Pts. 1 and 2, Nuremberg: Homann Erben, 1734-1781.    


Good condition. Some creasing. Minor wear and discoloration along original centerfold and left margin. Else clean.


University of Washington Libraries, Rare Map Division, Atlas 912 At651.