Fine Contemporary Color Example
Fine example of JB Homann's map of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and South Carolina.
The present example has been finely colored in the period, likely by a Dutch colorist. It was acquired as part of a collection of maps from a composite atlas, many of which were similarly colored. Homann maps are ordinarily issued with uncolored cartouches. The present example reflects the work of a trained contemporary hand, almost certainly of Dutch origin.
One of the most decorative maps of the area, intended to promote German immigration to America. Germantown Teutsche Statt is placed at the headwaters of the Rappahanock. A number of early counties shown in the Carolinas. Nice detail in the interior of Virginia and Maryland for the period. New Jersey is divided into East and West New Jersey. The region in the west is Florida, extending to Lake Erie. Shows Indian tribes and place names, rivers, bays, coastal soundings, early settlements and other details.
Embellished by one of the most decorative cartouches to appear on a map of the region, showing figures from regional history and local trade with the English. The Atlantic is Mare Virgini [or] Sea of Virginy.
Johann Baptist Homann (1663-1724) was a mapmaker who founded the famous Homann Heirs publishing company. He lived his entire life in Bavaria, particularly in Nuremberg. Initially, Johann trained to become a priest before converting to Protestantism and working as a notary.
In 1702, Johann founded a publishing house that specialized in engravings. The firm flourished, becoming the leading map publisher in Germany and an important entity in the European map market. In 1715, Johann was named Imperial Geographer to the Holy Roman Empire by Charles VI and made a member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences. Most importantly for his business, his reputation and contacts gained him imperial printing privileges which protected his publications and recommended him to customers. Johann is best known for this Grosser Atlas ueber die ganze Welt, or the Grand Atlas of the World, published in 1716.
After Johann died in 1724, the business passed to his son, Christoph (1703-1730). Upon Christoph’s early death, the company passed to subsequent heirs, with the name of the company changing to Homann Erben, or Homann Heirs. The firm continued in business until 1848.