This fine example of Herman Moll's 1732 miniature engraved map presents North Africa in two separate images on the same sheet, taken from his Atlas minor. Hand-colored by kingdom, the maps offer a vivid and detailed depiction of the region during the early 18th century.
The top map, titled "The West Part of Barbary Containing Fez, Marocco, Algiers, and Tunis," provides a comprehensive view of the western part of North Africa, showcasing its major cities and geographical features. An inset of the harbor of Oran is included, adding further detail to the map.
The bottom map, titled "The East Part of Barbary containing Tripoli, Barca and the North Part of Egypt," focuses on the eastern portion of the region, encompassing present-day Libya and the northern part of Egypt. This map offers an equally detailed representation of the area, highlighting its key locations and topography.
Herman Moll (c. 1654-1732) was one of the most important London mapmakers in the first half of the eighteenth century. Moll was probably born in Bremen, Germany, around 1654. He moved to London to escape the Scanian Wars. His earliest work was as an engraver for Moses Pitt on the production of the English Atlas, a failed work which landed Pitt in debtor's prison. Moll also engraved for Sir Jonas Moore, Grenville Collins, John Adair, and the Seller & Price firm. He published his first original maps in the early 1680s and had set up his own shop by the 1690s.
Moll's work quickly helped him become a member of a group which congregated at Jonathan's Coffee House at Number 20 Exchange Alley, Cornhill, where speculators met to trade stock. Moll's circle included the scientist Robert Hooke, the archaeologist William Stuckley, the authors Jonathan Swift and Daniel Defoe, and the intellectually-gifted pirates William Dampier, Woodes Rogers and William Hacke. From these contacts, Moll gained a great deal of privileged information that was included in his maps.
Over the course of his career, he published dozens of geographies, atlases, and histories, not to mention numerous sheet maps. His most famous works are Atlas Geographus, a monthly magazine that ran from 1708 to 1717, and The World Described (1715-54). He also frequently made maps for books, including those of Dampier’s publications and Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. Moll died in 1732. It is likely that his plates passed to another contemporary, Thomas Bowles, after this death.