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This very large & beautifully hand coloured original, scarce antique Twin Hemisphere World Map by Herman Moll was published in ca 1735 Atlas New and Compleat Atlas, Robert Sayers and John King, London In the 18th century many large-scale maps were published by the likes of John Senex and Herman Moll, this trend continued until the end of private mapping in the early 19th century when it was replaced by Ordnance Survey maps. Due to the size, handling & storing difficulties not many of these large maps have survived and many of those that have survived have sustained damage along the edges of the map and in the folds as with this map. The map has been professionally restored along the L&R folds. Please see below for a more detailed condition report. (This map can sell for up to $6500US and with restoration this one is priced accordingly)
Background: This fascinating twin hemisphere map depicts the latest state of knowledge of the world in the first quarter of the eighteenth-century. The delineation of Europe, South America, and southern Asia is quite sophisticated, while the depiction of regions further beyond suggests only fleeting exploration or outright speculation. Most of the Arctic is labelled "Parts Unknown," and the American West is largely conjectural, featuring California as an island, the most beloved of cartographic misconceptions. Lands depicted to the east of the Spice Islands are scarcely contemplated, "Iesso," or Hokkaido, is shown to be part of Siberia, and eastern Australia is left as a complete enigma, decades before the voyages of James Cook. This map was intended to satiate the intense English interest in maritime exploration and commerce. The oceans within the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn feature highly detailed hydrological information, most notably the direction of the ocean currents, that Moll gleaned from his esteemed contemporary Sir Edmond Halley. Evincing the scientific curiosity of the Enlightenment, each corner of the map features very detailed and elegant astronomical diagrams, including; the planetary systems according to both Ptolemy (geo-centric) and Copernicus (helio-centric), the appearance of the Sun according to the Jesuit intellectual Athanasius Kircher; and the Appearance of the Moon according to Jean-Dominique Cassini. The magnificent title cartouche, dedicated to George I, features classical sea gods, prefiguring the power of the Royal Navy that would allow the British to build a global empire later in the century.
The map was part of Herman Moll's magnificent folio work, a New and Compleat Atlas. Moll was the most important cartographer working in London during his era, a career that spanned over fifty years. His origins have been a source of great scholarly debate; however, the prevailing opinion suggests that he hailed from the Hanseatic port city of Bremen, Germany. Joining a number of his countrymen, he fled the turmoil of the Scanian Wars for London, and in 1678 is first recorded as working there as an engraver for Moses Pitt on the production of the English Atlas . It was not long before Moll found himself as a charter member of London's most interesting social circle, which congregated at Jonathan's Coffee House at Number 20 Exchange Alley, Cornhill. It was at this establishment that speculators met to trade equities (most notoriously South Sea Company shares). Moll's coffeehouse 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 friends, Moll gained a great deal of privileged information that was later conveyed in his cartographic works, some appearing in the works of these same figures. Moll was highly astute, both politically and commercially, and he was consistently able to craft maps and atlases that appealed to the particular fancy of wealthy individual patrons, as well as the popular trends of the day. In many cases, his works are amongst the very finest maps of their subjects ever created with toponymy in the English language. (Ref: Tooley, Koeman, M&B)
General Condition: Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable Paper color: - off white Age of map color: - Early Colors used: - Pink, yellow, green General color appearance: - Original Paper size: - 38 1/2in x 24in (980mm x 610mm) Plate size: - 38in x 23 1/2in (965m x 575mm) Margins: - Min 1/4in (5mm)
Imperfections: Margins: - Light chipping in margins, light spotting. Small tears mended Plate area: - Professional restoration to left & right folds, small areas of loss re-drawn, light spotting and light creasing Verso: - Restoration along folds & center-folds, spotting and browning