Catalog Archive
Auction 183, Lot 271

"To the Right Honourable, Charles Earl of Sunderland ... This Map of South America, According to the Newest and Most Exact Observations Is Most Humbly Dedicated by Your Lordship's Most Humble Servant", Moll, Herman

Subject: South America

Period: 1730 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

38.1 x 22.9 inches
96.8 x 58.2 cm
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This handsome large map on two joined sheets depicts South America and extends to include the Salomon Islands and part of the coast of Africa. The map includes great detail of cities, roads, and regions, and includes a few additional notations. A long note in the south Atlantic warns of "maps put out by ignorant Pretenders" with incorrect information and false projections that would create a "dangerous consequence ... if ever they should be us'd at sea." In the south Pacific is a large vignette of Potosi, Peru. The decorative title cartouche includes images of Natives and two erupting volcanoes. The imprints of Herman Moll, John Bowles, Thomas Bowles, and Philip Overton appear at bottom center.

Herman Moll was one of Britain's most prominent cartographers of the first half of the 18th century. He emigrated from Germany and went to work as an engraver for Moses Pitt in 1678. Soon he joined one of London's most interesting social circles, which gathered at Jonathan's Coffee House, and included stock speculators, scientists, archaeologists, authors, pirates, and sea-captains. From these friends, Moll gained a great deal of privileged information that he compiled into his cartographic works. Moll's success and prosperity was due in part to his social connections and political astuteness, and to his distinctive style and quality workmanship. He produced a great number of often-innovative maps, charts, globes, atlases and geographies. His best known works are the large two-sheet maps produced for his World Described, which were also published separately.

References: cf. Shirley (BL Atlases) T.MOLL-4b #11.

Condition: A

A sharp impression on clean, bright sheets, issued folding and now flattened and professionally backed in thin, archival tissue, with very minor soiling.

Estimate: $950 - $1,200

Sold for: $700

Closed on 6/9/2021