18th Century Maps, 19th Century Maps, Copperplate, Engraving, Lithograph, Maps, Past/Present

Past/Present: Black Sea

Today we have a new P/P post, featuring two maps of the Black Sea. Our earlier map is by Johann Baptist Homann. It is a beautifully decorative 18th century map of the Black Sea region. The map extends northward to include Moscow and Smolensk. Constantinople is also shown. Homann was a German engraver and publisher who established himself and his family in Nuremberg in 1702.  He published his first atlas, “Atlas Novus” in 1707, and in recognition of this achievement, he was elected to the Berlin Academy of Sciences.  In 1715, Homann was appointed Geographer to the Emperor. Homann died in 1724 and his business was continued by his family under the name Homann’s Heirs into the late 18th century.

The more recent map is a 19th century map, published by Alvin Johnson & Son in New York. This map is a large scale map of Russia, extending from the Arctic Ocean south to the Black and Caspian Seas. This map is a lithographic map, as opposed to the earlier printmaking method for maps- copperplate or steel engravings. Lithography, or printing from soft stone, largely took the place of engraving in the production of English commercial maps after about 1852. It was a quick, cheap process and had been used to print British army maps during the Peninsula War. The trend of using lithograph quickly caught on in America as well. Most of the commercial maps of the second half of the 19th century were lithographed and consequently less decorative, though accurate enough.

Image on Left: Tabula Geographica Qua Pars Russiae Magnae Pontus Euxinus seu Mare Nigrum et Tartaria MinorBy Johann Baptist Homann. Published by Johann Baptist Homann, Nuremberg. Copper plate engraving, c.1720.

Image on Right: Johnson’s Russia. By A. J. Johnson. Published by Alvin Johnson & Son, New York. Lithograph, hand colored, 1878.











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