Study of an Early 18th C. Warship
J.B. Homann, Nuremberg: c. 1730
Neue Tafel vor alle Liebhabers und See-fahrende Personen
Ship cross-section, Neue Tafel vor alle Liebhabers und See-fahrende Personen
Neue Tafel vor alle Liebhabers und See-fahrende Personen, detail Neue Tafel vor alle Liebhabers und See-fahrende Personen, detail Neue Tafel vor alle Liebhabers und See-fahrende Personen, detail
Neue Tafel vor alle Liebhabers und See-fahrende Personen, detail Neue Tafel vor alle Liebhabers und See-fahrende Personen, detail Neue Tafel vor alle Liebhabers und See-fahrende Personen, detail
Johann Baptist Homann (1664-1724) (cartographer)
Neue Tafel vor alle Liebhabers und See-fahrende Personen...
from Neuer Atlas bestehend in einig curieusen astronomischen mappen und vielen auserlesenen allerneuesten land-charten über die gantze welt...
Johann Baptist Homann [Homann Heirs], Nuremberg: c. 1730
Hand-colored copperplate engraving
19.25 x 23.75 inches, platemark
20.75 x 24.75 inches, overall

Engraving of a warship at anchor illustrating every aspect of its design and construction.  Beneath the main illustration is a highly detailed cross-section of the interior, down to staircases, barrels in storage areas, and the cannons pointing out of the ship.  The main drawings are surrounded by 17 details of the ribbing and planking, dry docks, and nautical navigational equipment including different types of compasses.  The title describes it as a "new plate presented to all seafaring people."  A key in the lower margin identifies over 150 parts of the ship and rigging.  A compass rose divided into 32 segments decorates the lower right corner.

According to a list of atlases in the collection of the Library of Congress published in 1914, this plate was included in some editions of Homann's Neuer Atlas…über die Gantze Welt, which included maps of various parts of the world and city plans by various cartographers and astronomical plates by Johann Gabriel Doppelmayr. Various editions of the atlas were issued between 1712 and around 1730.

Johann Baptist Homann, a former Dominican monk, became a celebrated cartographer of 18th century Nuremburg, Germany, producing maps and celestial charts (generally in atlases), and globes of high quality both in their geographic accuracy and aesthetic appeal.  According to map expert R.V. Tooley: "The most important and prolific map-makers in Germany in the 18th century were the Homann family (1702-1813). The founder and principal member was Johann Baptist Homann. He set up his headquarters in Nuremberg and quickly dominated the German market. Nor did he confine his efforts to his homeland, but produced general atlases covering the whole world."

After settling in Nuremburg in 1688, Johann Baptist Homann was employed as a map engraver before founding his own firm in 1702.  Homann’s geographical, celestial, and astronomical maps were published in a variety of states throughout the 18th century, which are generally difficult to distinguish from one another.  Most of his geographical maps first appeared in Neuer Atlas…über die Gantze Welt [New Atlas of the Whole World] (c. 1712-1730, also known in Latin as Atlas Novus) and Grosser Atlas ueber die ganze Welt [Grand Atlas of all the World (c. 1716).  His celestial maps, produced in collaboration with Johann Gabriel Doppelmayr, were issued as part of various publications before being published as a collection posthumously by his heirs, most notably as Atlas Coelestis in quo Mundus Spectabilis et in Eodem Stellarum Omnium Phoenomena Notabilia, issued as 30 plates in 1742.

Homann’s geographical maps were frequently republished by the Homann heirs throughout the 18th century, most notably in Atlas Geographicus Maior (c. 1780) and Atlas Homannianus, (Amsterdam, 1731-1796).  Homann was initially succeeded by his son, Johann Christoph Homann (1703-1730), then by his friend Johann Michael Franz (1700-1761) and stepsister’s husband Johann Georg Ebersberger (1695-1760).  The company continued operations under different names until 1848.   

Full title: Neue Tafel vor alle Liebhabers und See-fahrende Personen, Stellet vor ein Orlog oder Kriegs-Schiff mit seinen völligen Tow & Seil Werck Sampt einen Durchgeschnittnen Schiff, auch Vor und Hindertheil Desgleichen Booten, Chaloupen und Schiff-Heber, nebst noch mehr anderer Schiffs Geraeth-schafft und Zugehörungen.

Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning, wear, soft creases.  Professionally cleaned and deacidified.


Phillips, Philip Lee, ed. A List of Geographical Atlases in the Library of Congress with Bibliographical Notes. Vol. 3. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1914. Item 3474. pp. 265-266. Online at Google Books: (17 April 2013).

Tooley, R.V. Maps and Map-Makers.  New York: Bonanza Books, 1949.  p. 27.

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