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Detailed map of Germany showing rivers, towns, provincial, and other demarcations. The map has a simple decorative cartouche bearing a royal seal. The title stresses the up-to-date cartography based on the latest scientific observations as well as the work of esteemed cartographer Guillaume de L'Isle.
The map has a complicated history. It is based upon one of several derivatives of de L’Isle maps made by the Augsburg publisher Jeremias Wolff. Germania was engraved by Matthäus Seutter for Wolff before Seutter started his own cartography firm. After Wolff’s death, his heir Johann Friedrich Probst used the plates. Tobias Conrad Lotter, who had worked for Seutter, set up his own publishing business after Seutter’s death in 1757, and probably purchased most of the Wolff-Probst maps at that time, reissuing them with his name replacing theirs. Given that the plates, including Germania, were probably badly worn after 60 to 70 years, Lotter had to engrave new ones. The new version bears the name of the engraver G.F. Lotter, a son of Tobias.
Tobias Conrad Lotter was a cartographer and engraver based in Augsburg. In the mid 18th century Lotter engraved maps for atlases for the Seutter cartography firm which was founded in 1707 by his father-in-law, Georg Matthias Seutter (1678-1757), Geographer to the Imperial Court. Seutter had been trained by Johann Baptist Homann, another prominent Augsburg map producer, and served as geographer to the court of Charles VI. The Seutter family of cartographers were, together with the Homann family, the most renowned and prolific map makers of 18th century Germany, the leading center of atlas production at that time. Georg Matthaeus Seutter was later joined by his son, Albrecht Carl Seutter, who eventually succeeded him. Within about a year after Seutter’s death in 1757, Lotter took over the business and continued to issue updated versions of the maps over the next two decades under his own name.In 1747, Lotter had collaborated with Tobias Lobeck on his miniature Atlas Geographicus Portatilis, also issued in 1755. In 1772, Lotter published his folio Atlas Novus.
Guillaume de L'Isle, appointed Royal Geographer in 1718, was the leading French cartographer of the early 18th century, and certainly among the most influential. He was known for his prolific output--over 100 maps--and his exceptional accuracy. From his first atlas, published at age 25, De L’Isle made an effort, unprecedented in his era, to base his work on verifiable, current data and to correct prevalent fallacies, such as the depiction of California as an island. His maps and atlases were frequently reissued after his death by Philippe Buache, Phillippe’s nephew Jean Nicolas Buache,and J.A. Dezauche. The Amsterdam publishers Covens and Mortier also reissued de L’Isle maps. De L’Isle maps served as inspiration for derivatives by various other cartographers including Jeremias Wolff and Matthäus Seutter.
A cherub holds a banner in the upper right corner with the following inscription, describing the geographic divisions: “Notandum. In hac Mappa Circuli Imperÿ, per Lineolas cum interjectis Punctis, terminate sunt, hoe modo. Territoria, intra dictos Circulos talibus inclusa punctis, ad alios Circulos pertinent E. G. Comitatus Pleßen in Saxonia inferiori pertinet ad Circulum Rhenanum superiorem, Territorium Erfordiense in Circulo Saxoniæ superioris, et Echfeld, pertinent ad Cirenlum Electoralem Rheni. Territoria omnia punetis in Circulo Westphalico inclusa et etiam omnia ista in Circulo superioris Rheni reperta, pertinent ad Circulum Rheni Electoralem. Territoria in Circulo Electorali punctis inclusa pertinenet ad Circulum Rheni superioris, exceptis Prum et Manderscheid, qui Circulo Westphalico incorporate sunt, et comit. Erpach, qui ad Circuli Franconi pertinet, Omnes punctati Limites Circuli Suevicj pertinent ad Circulum Austriacum Episcopatus Basillensis pertinent ad Circulum Rhenanum superiorem. Ducat Limburg, ParsSeptentr pertinet ad Provinciar unitaru Stat General: Parsmeridional ante ad Circ: Burgundieu, ut et pars meridian Geldriæ.”
Another inscription credits the geography and drawing to Tobias Conrad Lotter in Augsburg: “Prostat nunc in Officina Tobiæ Conradi Lotter Geogr. Et Calcogr. Aug. Vind.” [Offered for sale in the Workshop of Tobias Conrad Lotter, Geographer and Calcographer. Augsburg.]
Cahart, George. “An Exercise in Map Genealogy. Guillaume Delisle's L'Amerique Septentrionale and its Many Offspring.” Mercator's World. Sept/Oct 2001.
Ritter, Michael. “Re: Tobias Lotter questions.” 2 February 2005. MapHist discussion group. http://www.maphist.info. (2 February 2005) (also citing his article in Imago Mundi. Vol. 53, 2001).