Decorative double hemisphere map of the world, richly embellished with Celestial models of the northern and southern hemispheres and other natural phenomena.
The map includes many famous cartographic inaccuracies. It also shows an incomplete Australia, although with place names and notes of the early discoverers included. The east coast of New Zealand is shown, along with the Tracts of Tasman's 1642 voyage and Magellan's Voyage. The detail in SE Asia is very interesting for the period, as is the treatment of Japan and the Northwest Coast of America.
The allegorical scenes around the map are a rich combination of science, fantasy, and artwork, including two celestial hemispheres, Mt. Etna erupting, numerous natural phenomena of land and sea, and representations of movements of the sun. Numerous cherubs and windheads, representations of the stars, sun and moon, and other decorative features are shown.
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.