The Map that Would Not Die

A Fine, Strong Impression, with Authentic Original Color

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323. [MAP]. LOTTER, Tobias Conrad. Mappa Geographica Regionem Mexicanam et Floridam terrasque adjacentes, ut et anteriores Americæ Insulas, cursus itidem et reditus navigantium versus flumen Missisipi et alias colonias ob oculos ponens, cura et sumptibus. Tobiæ Conradi Lotteri, Geographi et Chalcographi Augustæ Vindel. [below distance scale at upper left] Cum gratia et Privil. S.R.I. Vicariatus, in partibus Rheni, Sveviæ, et Juris Franconici. [within border at lower right] Tob. Con. Lotter Sculps. [4 inset coastal charts at upper left] Bahia Portus Belli;Tractus Bahiæ et civitatis Havanæ; Carthagena Castel ejus.; La Vera Cruz; large dynamic scene at lower left (naval battle with people on shore watching while others are engaged in various activities, such as examining a treasure chest, bartering with Natives, etc.). [Augsburg, after 1758?]. Copper-engraved map on one sheet of heavy laid paper with watermark, original color (outline and vibrant wash); neat line to neat line: 47.6 x 57.5 cm; map with title above: 49.6 x 57.5 cm; overall sheet size: 53.2 x 66.5 cm. A few tiny holes at top blank margin (no losses). Remains of original tab on verso. Fine, strong impression, with authentic original color.

     Undetermined Lotter version, with changes to title replacing Seutter’s name with Lotter’s; four inset maps at right (rather than vignettes of ships); retaining the statement “Admiralis Vernon Bachiam intrans d. 21. Novembr. 1739” beneath the inset map entitled “Bahia Portus Belli” (see Lowery 328). The present map is Tobias Conrad Lotter’s re-engraving of Georg Matthäus Seutter’s Latin translation of Delisle’s revised 1722 edition of his original 1703 map entitled Carte du Mexique et de la Floride (see herein). Delisle’s map was the first map to pull together several centuries of disconnected geographical knowledge and present an accurate view of the area including colonial North America and the Caribbean, with the British colonies east of the Appalachian Mountains, France’s dominion through the Mississippi Valley and Florida, and Spain’s possession of Mexico and New Mexico. Cumming, Southeast in Early Maps 137 (entry for Delisle’s 1703 map discussing Lotter’s map “copied from Homann or Seutter but larger”). Martin & Martin, Plate 18 (matches our map, and dated 1740). Phillips, Atlases 5973:100 (noting the map in Seutter’s Atlas novus with conjectured date of “1741?”, and Lotter named as “sculps.”). Portinaro & Knirsch, The Cartography of North America, p. 236 & Plate CXX (illustrating and describing a 1757 version with French title, and without the inset maps; likely the map is later than 1757). Ryhiner Collection Ryh 7815:14.

     Tobias Conrad Lotter (1717-1777) came by his derivative practices naturally from his father-in-law, Georg Matthäus Seutter (1678-ca. 1757), with whom he apprenticed, engraving a great number of the Seutter firm’s maps. Lotter inherited half of the Seutter firm’s inventory of copperplates in 1758. Seutter in turn had learned mapmaking under the tutelage of the Homann firm, known for their vigorous cartographic recycling (see [MAP]. HOMANN herein). The scene at lower left in the present map is a combination of the two scenes from the Homann maps. Lotter’s name appears frequently on Seutter’s maps, but as engraver only. The replacement of Seutter’s name in the title with that of Lotter on the present map is significant, since Lotter is now identified as the both cartographer and engraver. The attribution of the date “nach 1758” by the Ryhiner collection seems most reasonable.

     Michael Ritter, “Seutter, Probst and Lotter: An Eighteenth-Century Map Publishing House in Germany” in Imago Mundi, Vol. 53 (2001), pp. 130-135:

Tobias Conrad Lotter (1717-1777) was the engraver who started out by working for Matthäus Seutter and marrying his daughter Euphrosina in 1740. He was also Seutter’s most prolific and skilled map engraver. On the death of Albrecht Carl Seutter [son of Georg Matthäus Seutter] in 1762, Lotter took the opportunity to buy part of the publishing house which represented his whole life and livelihood, although he lacked sufficient financial resources to acquire the whole establishment.

Lotter...continued to publish Seutter’s maps. He updated and reworked some—deleting Seutter’s name and inserting his own—and re-engraved others. His overall capabilities as well as his engraving skills ensured that he was considered to be Matthäus Seutter’s worthy successor. His work was highly regarded in the map trade, and he was asked to engrave and publish new maps. His marketing policy was to maintain his stock by producing maps of different types (topographical maps, postal-route maps) and different regions of the world. Like Seutter, Lotter made a point of publishing a great variety of printed cartography, not only maps but also atlases in folio and small, even pocket-size formats.... Credit should be given to Lotter for his diligence and efficiency as well as for the finely engraved maps he produced. Although he almost always worked alone, he was able to produce maps rapidly on subjects ranging from European theatres of war to discoveries in the Pacific Ocean, all of which sold well for their topicality.


Sold. Hammer: $700.00; Price Realized: $857.50.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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