Homann’s Map Recognizing French Influence in the Mississippi Valley

Click thumbnails to open zoomable images.

312. [MAP]. HOMANN, Johann Baptist. Regni Mexicani seu Novæ Hispaniæ, Ludovicianæ, Novæ Angliæ, Carolinæ, Virginiæ et Pensylvaniæ, necnam Insvlarvm archipelagi Mexicani in America Septentrionali accurata Tabula exhibita À Ioh. Baptista Homanno Noribergæ Cum Privilegio Sac. Caes. Maj. Nuremberg, n.d. [ca. 1716 or later]. Copper-engraved map on one sheet of laid paper, original outline and wash coloring, cartouche and vignettes in later full color; decorative cartouche at upper left (includes Native Americans, one in feathered headdress holding bow and arrow, another with a pipe; buffalo head, furs, bounty of fish and game); complex mining scene at upper right (Native Americans displaying treasure to Europeans against a backdrop of mountains where men are mining); flamboyant naval scene at lower left (battle with large sailing ship at left, many other ships and small boats, treasure chests, smoke, fire, flags, etc.). Neat line to neat line: 47.4 x 56.7 cm; overall sheet size: 53.3 x 62.6 cm. Original atlas tab on verso, contemporary ink ms. note on verso “32.” Top blank margin lightly soiled and slight remains of adhesion intruding into border in one area, otherwise fine.

     Revised issue of Homann’s Baroque version of Delisle’s 1703 Carte du Mexique et de la Floride (see herein). See preceding entry for Homann’s earlier issue of the map, which is identical to present issue except for two revisions to the cartouche. In the present map Homann omitted Florida in the title and substituted Louisiana to reflect political changes resulting from the Treaty of Utrecht (1713) and French expansion into Louisiana in the following decade. The cartouche of the present map has the added engraved note regarding Homann’s privilege as Imperial Geographer, which he was granted before August 17, 1715, with a ten-year privilege. Homann and his heirs were enthusiastic, commercial recyclers of their copper plates. This revised issue of the map has never been satisfactorily dated, due to the Homann firm reusing it repeatedly for decades without dating it and apparently refreshing the plate. No matter the year or decade cited for creation, New Orleans (founded May 7, 1718) is never located on any of the copies of the map. Phillips (Atlases) locates Homann’s Regni Mexicani multiple times in various atlases from ca. 1716 to the latter decades of the eighteenth century, but does not indicate if the privilege is in the cartouche or if the map is the early version with Florida or the revised version with Louisiana. The John Carter Brown Library dates their copy of the separate map with Louisiana rather than Florida and without privilege as 1730-1804. Obviously, adherence to a specific year is not reliable.

     The map is cited in various sources including the following: Cumming, Southeast in Early Maps 137 (noting Delisle’s 1703 map and remarking that Homann frequently included his version of the map the firm’s atlases). Lowery 473 (citing an appearance of the map with privilege in Homann’s 1763 Atlas Geographicus Major as Map 147). Martin & Martin, Plate 17 (illustrating revised issue with Louisiana instead of Florida, but privilege not present in cartouche; tentatively dated 1725). Phillips, Maps of America, p. 406 (citing appearance in Homann’s 1759 Atlas Geographicus Major). Portinaro & Knirsch, The Cartography of North America, 1500-1800, pp. 226-227 & plate CXV (dated 1725, with privilege): “Dense with place names, Homann’s map shows the de facto and de jure political division of North Americana after the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713 and the French expansion into Louisiana in the following ten years.” Taliaferro, Cartographic Sources in the Rosenberg Library 148 (no mention of privilege; notation that the Rosenberg copy is from Homann’s Atlas Geographicus Major dated 1759). Van Ermen, The United States in Old Maps and Prints, Plate 22 (p. 42).


Sold. Hammer: $900.00; Price Realized: $1,102.50.

Auction 23 Abstracts

Click thumbnails to open zoomable images.

DSRB Home | e-mail: