Antique Map of the Environs of Istanbul with a View of "the city of Stambul or Constantinople" from the East Side of the Bosphorus
Decorative antique map and early view of Istanbul and environs.
The map includes a large inset bird's-eye view of the Bosphorus with several ships in the foreground framed with an allegorical cartouche, inspired by the oriental world using symbols like the half-moon and the oil lamp. Wisdom and knowledge are also depicted using a book and a terrestrial globe.
The view of the city shows the former Christian church Hagia-Sophia, the Blue Mosque, three Egyptian obelisks which the Romans brought to the city, Sultan Suleyman's Mosque and the palace of the Sultan.
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.