Copper engraving, 49.5 x 58 cm, original hand colour, a couple of trivial marginal nicks and tears, blank verso.
The main map of the Holy Land is coloured to show the Twelve Tribes of Israel. The cartouche in the upper left corner of the map depicts Moses receiving the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, with the Israelites’ encampment in the background. At the bottom right Moses and Aaron are gesturing towards an inset map showing the Exodus from Egypt and the wanderings of the children of Israel.
Originally published in 1707 in Homann’s first atlas, this is one of his earliest maps. The founder of the Homann business, Johann Baptist Homann (1664-1724), was a self-taught copper engraver who founded the leading German cartographic publishing house of the eighteenth-century. He was appointed cartographer to the Holy Roman Emperor in 1715, and his maps were sold throughout Europe. After Homann’s death the business was continued by his son, Johann Christoph, and then by the Homann Heirs (his friend Johann Michael Franz and his stepsister’s husband, the engraver Johann Georg Ebersberger). Laor, Maps of the Holy Land, 340.