Nuremburg: Homann, Johann Baptist. unbound. Map. Copper plate engraving with original hand coloring. Image measures 19.25" x 22.75"
This stunning plan of Amsterdam, published circa 1725, celebrates the capital of the Netherlands at the peak of its economic and military power. Hand coloring highlights the semi-circular shape of the city, which pivots around the trade center of the Amstel River. Over 300 prominent locations are labeled throughout the map in accordance with keys in the upper corners. Gardens and windmills are also drawn. Below the plan, multitudes of ships are rendered with fine detail in the harbor, illustrating the city's bustling trade. This effect is furthered by the panoramic view at the bottom of the map, which looks onto the city's waterfront from the sea. The view is set off with a frame that is adorned on the sides with the city's coats of arms. It is also topped with a cartouche featuring the city's arms sitting on a throne, surrounded by cherubs and books. Books on the left list the trading partners of the Dutch East India company, and books on the right name the Dutch colonies, including New Amsterdam, Curacao and Brasilia, below the logo of the Dutch West India Company. The cartouche continues to the sides of the map with scenes of commerce, featuring people from around the New World bringing their goods. Of particular interest is a tobacco rope made from twisted tobacco leaves, which points to the growing prominence of the tobacco trade. This map was printed from the Homann's original by his heirs. As was customary for Homann's maps and other Dutch maps of the mid-1800s, the plan has been colored and the cartouche and view left uncolored. It is in good condition with very minor chips to the corners and some overall discoloration. Stain near the river in the upper right. Johann Baptist Homann (1664-1724) was a renowned German mapmaker of the late 17th and early 18th century who served as geographer to the Holy Roman Emperor. His business was carried on through the 18th century by the Homann Heirs, also prolific and popular mapmakers. Their continued success with maps such as this one proves the enduring value of Homann's work.