By: Johann Baptist Homann
Date: 1730 (circa) Nuremberg
Dimensions: 25 x 23 inches (49 cm x 57 cm)
This authentic antique map by Johann Baptist Homann depicts the Caspian Sea on one side and northeastern Russia and Kamchatka on the other, and is one of Homann’s most interesting and influential maps. Essentially two maps in one, Homann juxtaposes two opposite parts of Asia, with the Caspian on the western border of Asia and Europe and Kamchatka, the easternmost known point of continental Asia. At this time, Marco Polo’s travels and legends of wealth associated with the Orient were playing an important role in commerce and exploration as European powers were eager to exploit the riches of Asia. The map of the Caspian Sea reflects the survey work of Russia’s Karl van Verden, which led to the Caspian becoming navigable. Kamchatka had come under Russian control as early as 1697.
The two primary panels of this map are separated by an unusual band of allegorical cartouche work. The sun looks down on the lands of men and gods much as the cartographer might have imagined himself looking down. At the base of the cartouche a man sits next to a glove with mapping tools at hand. Both The Caspian and Kamchatka are recognizable. It is the first map to attempt to depict Japan.
Condition: This map is in B condition with a slight rolled fold. Archival tape has been used on the centerfold on the verso.
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