HOMANN’S LARGE FOUR-PART MAP OF BRITISH AMERICA, 1737, USED AS EVIDENCE IN BOUNDARY DISPUTES WITH FRANCE AND SPAIN
(AMERICA) HOMANN, Johann Baptista. Dominia Anglorum in America Septentrionali, Specialibus Mappis Londini primum a Mollio (Die Gros Britannische Colonie-Laender in Nord-America). [Nuremberg]: Homannianis Hered (Homann Heirs), . Large linen-backed single sheet (plate mark 22-1/2 by 20-1/4 inches; sheet size 26-1/2 by 22 inches), matted (entire piece measures 31-1/2 by 26 inches). $1500.
Four handsome hand-colored maps on a single sheet, depicting English colonies in maritime Canada, New England, Virginia, Maryland and Carolina, based upon individual maps in Herman Moll’s Atlas Minor (1729) and used “as pictorial counterclaims to offset earlier maps by Delisle” that favored French boundaries.
Divided into four quadrants and labeled, “A. New Foundland, od. Terra Nova St. Laurentii Bay die Fisch-Bank, Acadia nebst Einem Theil New Schotland; B. New Engelland, New York, New Yersey [sic] and Pensilvania; C. Virginia und Maryland; D. Carolina nebst einem Theil von Florida,” this combination of maps of British America appeared in J.B. Homann’s Grosser Atlas (1737) as plate number 148, with the explanatory texts and captions translated from English to German. They are based on four individual maps by Herman Moll in his Atlas Minor (1729), which were used as pictorial evidence in support of counterclaims to earlier French maps by Delisle, as well as to document the recent claim of the British to sections of Florida, already occupied by Spain. There is quite a good deal of information about the Indian tribes and settlements, especially the Iroquois. Moll’s map of New England is known by cartographic historians as the “Post Map”—“one of the earliest references to postal routes in North America” (Schwartz & Ehrenberg). His map of the Atlantic provinces of Canada prominently features the cod fishing banks, which led to the French claim in 1763 to fishing and drying rights along most of the Western coast of Newfoundland. This Homann engraving is based on Moll’s second issue (1736), with “Azilia” instead of Georgia. The claim of Carolina extends down below Mosquito Inlet in Florida and reaches north almost to the James River. Cummins 233. See also Schwartz & Ehrenberg, 135 and Plate 78.