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Nice example of Johann Baptiste Homann's decorative map of America, the first of two maps of America published by the Homann family.

This is the third state of the map, with Terra Esonis Incognita in noted inside the NW Coast of America and an indentation in the coastline just below the cartouche, which pushes the coastline nearly due east, before turning southwestward again, but without the decorative branches at the bottom center of the cartouche in the upper left corner. The first edition includes California as an island. The second converts to the peninsular model, but retains the two branches in the top cartouche.

This edition shows a corrected Western Coastline, with California no longer shown as an island, although the remnants of the interior sea can be seen near the pais de Moozemlek.

Good detail throughout the map, especially in the southwest and near the Great Lakes, which were then actively being explored by the French fur traders and Hudson's Bay Company.

Johann Baptist Homann Biography

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.