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Map, Atlas Frontis Page, Antique Print, Homann, Nuremberg, 1737


Johann Baptist Homann (1664-1724) (cartographer)
Atlas Novus
[Frontis Page]
Johann Baptist Homann, Nuremberg, 1737
from Grosser Atlas Uber die Gantze Welt [Grand Atlas of all the World]
Hand-colored engraving
18.75 x 11 inches, image
20.5 x 12 inches, overall

An 18th century decorative frontis for a J.B. Homann atlas. It features Atlas and Hercules with upraised hands, heroically supporting a starry night sky while standing on a globe showing Europe and Africa. In front of the globe are seated and standing mythological and allegorical figures, including Neptune and Mercury. A decorative cartouche at the bottom of the print bears the title and publication credits. Although the frontis is titled “Atlas Novus” suggesting it was issued with Homann’s Neuer Atlas (c. 1712-1730, also known in Latin as Atlas Novus), this particular example was instead issued attached to the title page of a Homann atlas with a different title: Grosser Atlas über die Gantze Welt [Grand Atlas of all the World] (c. 1737).

Product description continues below.


Johann Baptist Homann, a former Dominican monk, became a celebrated cartographer of 18th century Nuremberg, 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 Nuremberg 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 atlases throughout the 18th century. 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 über die Gantze Welt [Grand Atlas of all the World] (c. 1737). 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: Atlas Novus Terrarum Orbis Imperia Regna et Status exactis Tabulis Geographice demonstrans

Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning, wear, handling. Small abraded patch professionally restored and backed with Japanese tissue. Frontis is attached to atlas title page, as issued.


Tooley, R.V. Maps and Map-Makers. 4th Ed. New York: Bonanza Books, 1970. Tooley p. 99 (re: 1797 map).

Additional information


18th Century