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Description: This large finely engraved beautifully hand coloured original antique map of North America from the United States, the Mississippi River, to Spanish North America was published by J.B Homann in 1720
General Description: Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable Paper color: - off white Age of map color: - Original & later Colors used: - Yellow, green, blue, pink General color appearance: - Authentic Paper size: - 25in x 21 1/4in (635mm x 540mm) Plate size: - 23in x 19 1/2in (590mm x 500mm) Margins: - Min 1/2in (12mm)
Imperfections: Margins: - Light age toning in top margin Plate area: - None Verso: - None
Background:This iconic map of Louisiana, the Mississippi River Valley to the Colonial United States by Johann Baptiste Homann, is commonly called the 'Buffalo Map' for its distinctive decorative elements depicting a stylized buffalo. This map is derived from an earlier 1718 map of the same region by G. De L'Isle though it has been enlarged to include New England.
The map covers much of the modern day United States from Canada and the Great Lakes to the Florida Keys and from Mexico and Texas to the Pacific. According to the political conventions of the time this map is segmented into various zones including New Mexico (red) along the Rio de Norte (Rio Grande), Louisiana (blue) covering a vast area including Texas, all five of the Great Lakes, and both the upper and lower Mississippi River Valleys, Florida (green) consisting most of the American southeast, the english Colonies (yellow) along the Atlantic seaboard, and Canada (red) stretching across the top of the map north of the Great Lakes. Various explorers' routes (including de Soto) are noted, as are mission settlements, American Indian villages, fortifications, and portages. Florida is depicted as an archipelago inhabited by anthropophagi (cannibals). The cartouche work, in the upper left quadrant, details Niagara Falls as well as various allegorical illustrations. A secondary cartouche, showing American Indians and a stylized buffalo appears in the lower right.
This map enjoyed a long production run and was extremely popular throughout europe – most likely for its decorative inclusion of the American Buffalo and Niagara Falls, objects of fascination for many 18th century europeans. Though this map was issued in only one edition, it was published in Homann's Neuer Atlas, the Atlas Major, and many other composite atlases well into the late 1700s, making specific instances of the map all but possible to date with precision. Most examples thus reference the original publication date, c. 1720. (Ref: Tooley; M&B)