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Decorative double hemisphere map of the World, from John Senex's New General Atlas, first published in 1721.

Senex's map provides a fine look at a number of the surviving myths and cartographic inaccuracies of the early 18th Century. California is shown as an Island, both New Zealand and Australia have incomplete coastlines, there is no sign of Antarctica, New Guinea is still shown as connected to Australia, and the Northwest Coast of America ends near the present day Straits of Juan de Fuca, with a speculative remnant of the old land bridge between Asia and America shown, but without meaningful detail.

The map includes 4 smaller Northern and Southern Hemisphere projections, an armillary and other scientific drawings. A fine allegorical vignette across the top shows the four continents as women, with Europe, the scholar, studying the globe, Asia, the exotic trading partner, with an urn of incense, while the primitive Africa and America appear on the far side of the title cartouche.

John Senex Biography

John Senex (1678-1740) was one of the foremost mapmakers in England in the early eighteenth century. He was also a surveyor, globemaker, and geographer. As a young man, he was apprenticed to Robert Clavell, a bookseller. He worked with several mapmakers over the course of his career, including Jeremiah Seller and Charles Price. In 1728, Senex was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society, a rarity for mapmakers. The Fellowship reflects his career-long association as engraver to the Society and publisher of maps by Edmund Halley, among other luminaries. He is best known for his English Atlas (1714), which remained in print until the 1760s. After his death in 1740 his widow, Mary, carried on the business until 1755. Thereafter, his stock was acquired by William Herbert and Robert Sayer (maps) and James Ferguson (globes).