Harlan J. Berk Antique Maps

Featured Map of the Day 7/20/17 July 20 2017, 0 Comments

1761 Insulae Islandiae, delineation, prout haec Solenni mensurandi negotio sub Auspicus Potentissimi Regis Daniae…

High Resolution Image By: Homann Heirs Date: 1761 (Published) Nuremberg Dimensions: 17.75 x 23.25 (45 cm x 59 cm) This rare and spectacular map of Iceland was published 1761 in Nuremberg by the Heirs of Homann. The map was compiled according to Danish surveys, and lovers of Icelandic sagas will recognize many of the sites depicted. The map is more scientific than many previous similar versions. Many of the countless volcanoes which populate the island are depicted and named, as are Iceland’s many fjords. Regional boundaries are marked and all cities, towns and settlements are included. The topographical details of the mountainous regions of the map create a strong image of the ruggedness of the island. Major rivers and other waterways are included, and roads for travelling throughout the country are delineated. Explanatory details in the lower right quadrant of the map are in Latin, as is the title. As interesting as the map itself is its maker, Johann Baptist Homann (20 March 1664 – 1 July 1724), the most prominent map publisher of the 18th century. Born in a small town in Bavaria, as a young man Homann studied in a Jesuit school, and considered the priesthood before converting to Protestantism in 1687. Following his conversion he moved to Nuremberg where he worked as a notary. A few years later he relocated to Vienna, where he lived and studied printing and copper plate engraving for two years. On his return to Nuremberg he founded the publishing firm which would bear his name. Within a short time Homann had published hundreds of maps and developed his own distinctive style of heavily detailed engraving, elaborate allegorical cartouche work, and vivid hand color. Due to lower publication costs in Germany, Homann’s firm was able to significantly undercut the French and Dutch publishing houses while at the same time matching the diversity and quality of their output. In 1715 Homann was appointed Imperial Cartographer to the Holy Roman Emperor Charles the VI, and was named a member of the Royal Academy of Sciences in Berlin. His prestigious titles provided numerous important advantages including access to the most up to date cartographic information as well as the ‘Privilege’, which was a type of early copyright granted by the Emperor to individuals he found deserving. The honours awarded during Homann’s lifetime add increased value to his maps. On his death, his son Johann Christoph inherited the business. Perhaps sensing that he would not outlive his father by long, his will stated that following his death all maps printed from the family plates would be printed under the name Homann Heirs, a tradition which would continue till the firm finally closed in 1848. Condition: This map with original hand coloring is in A condition, a strong imprint on heavy paper. Inventory #10882

31 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60602 | T: 312-609-0016


Featured Map of the Day! (extra) 7/19/17 July 19 2017, 0 Comments

High Resolution Image America sive India Nova ad magnae Gerardi Mercatoris aui Uiniversalis imitationem in compendium redacta By: Michael Mercator Date: 1596 (published) Amsterdam Dimensions: 14.5 x 18 inches (37 x 45.75 cm). This is the only know printed map attributed to Michael Mercator, grandson of Gerard. The stunning map of the Americas is based on Rumold Mercator's world map of 1587, but includes more detail. The North Pole is shown as several large islands just above a clear Northwest Passage and large inland lake in northern Canada. In America, the St. Lawrence extends far inland until its path is interrupted by a mountain range that comes from early Spanish explorations of the Southwest. Three circular inserts show various islands of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. South America displays two large bulges on the east and west coast. The western bulge would disappear by the second state of the map; however the exaggerated eastern bulge would appear in most maps for well over a century. The majority of the Southern Hemisphere is dominated by a massive landmass called “Terra Australis Nondum Cognita.” The presence of this landmass comes from a theory of counterbalance introduced by Aristotle that suggests a massive (though not yet discovered) must exist at the South Pole to counterbalance all the land in the Northern Hemisphere. Terra Australis extends north of the tropic of Capricorn and includes Terra del Fuego. The map is beautifully engraved with a floral design surrounding the map. Insets include the Gulf of Mexico, Cuba, and Haiti. No text on verso. Condition: Map is in B condition, trimmed to the neatline on the left side and backed with archival paper to add stability and extra margins all around. Inventory #10829 31 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60602 | T: 312-609-0016

Featured Map of the Day 7/19/17 July 19 2017, 0 Comments

High Resolution Image By: Abraham Ortelius Date: 1584 (Published) Antwerp Dimensions: 14.25 x 19.75 (36.2 cm x 50.2 cm) This important early map by Abraham Ortelius depicts a large area of the North Atlantic, extending from Scandinavia and the Polar regions in the Arctic Circle and in the East, to the mythical islands of Drogeo, Frisland and Icaria. Also included are Greenland, Iceland and North America. This map was influential in its treatment of the Arctic regions. Engraved by Frans Hogenberg, the map shows the influence of Mercator’s wall map of 1569, as well as other works of the era. The outline of Scandinavia is impressively accurate, bordering the Mare Congelatum, Latin for the ‘frozen waters of the Arctic’. Latin text on the verso provides descriptions of the various regions and countries covered by the map. The map is embellished in the usual style of Ortelius, with a variety of sea monsters and mythical creatures, including one half-man half-seahorse playing a an early cousin of the violin, and another creature combining aspects of a lion, a buffalo and a sea serpent is depicted with holding its live prey with its paw. Two lovely frigates also grace the seas.   Condition: This hand colored map is in B condition. One worm hole to the left and right of the centerfold at the bottom of the map. Light water staining confined to portions of the left and right margins. The map has been repaired with archival materials on the verso. Inventory #10881

31 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60602 | T: 312-609-0016


Featured Map of the Day! 7/18/17 July 18 2017, 0 Comments

High Resolution Image By: Johann Christoph Weigel Date: 1724 (Published) Nuremberg Dimensions: 5.25 x 7.25 inches (13.3 cm x 18.4 cm) A decorative title cartouche embellishes the upper right quadrant.   Johann Christoph Weigel was an erudite scholar and prolific mapmaker. Born in 1654, Weigel created engravings covering a wide range of topics and themes along with a large number of superb maps such as this of Prussia. Condition: This map with original color is in B+ condition. Toning is quite even. Inventory #10859

31 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60602 | T: 312-609-0016


Featured Map of the Day! 7/17/17 July 17 2017, 0 Comments

High Resolution Image By: Nicolas De Fer Date: 1713 (dated) Paris Dimensions: 43 x 62 inches (109 cm x 157 cm) This is an exciting and original example of De Fer’s rare and extraordinarily influential wall map of the Americas, published at the tail end of the 17th century. At the time of its publication, European nations were in an all-out race to colonize the “new world.” New information was at a premium and the need for financial and national support was crucial in the efforts to conquer these new lands and bear all the riches that came with them. This exceptional map by De Fer accomplished both of those initiatives in a most alluring style. The map is in four sheets and is the work of Hendrick van Loon and Nicolas Guérard. We may presume that van Loon engraved the map and Guérard designed and engraved the wonderful cartouches and inset scenes surrounding the whole. This map is most famously known for being the first to include two spectacular scenes which reference the major industries and opportunities for wealth and enterprise in the new world; Cod Fishing and Beaver Pelts. In the top left, a colony of beavers is shown in a most industrious fashion, building a damn with Niagara Falls in the background. The scene in the top right depicts a Cod fishing factory situated within the Grand Banks of North America. These scenes would later be used by Herman Moll for maps that carry high value, in part because of the inclusion of such scenes. Surrounding the map are several smaller scenes that according to Burden depict, “Canadian savages, ancient Mexico, people of New Mexico, the Buccaneers or Filibusters, people of La Plata, Peru, Chile, Brazilians, Virginia and Illinois. These are framed by six medallions of Ferdinand Magellan, Artha Balipa, Christophe Colombe, François Pissar., Mote-Zuma Roy de Mexique and Americq Vespuse.” Extensive panels of text descriptions flank the map on either side and offer a wealth of information to accompany this already remarkable cartographic masterpiece. Condition: This map is in B condition, with light soiling and some ink spotting throughout. There are several small areas of paper loss mostly confined to but not limited to the margins. The map at one point was partially colored and backed with a fine archival paper. Inventory #10865

31 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60602 | T: 312-609-0016


Featured Map of the Day! 7/16/17 July 16 2017, 0 Comments

High Resolution Image By: Jaro Hess Date: 1930 (dated) Grand Rapids, Michigan Dimensions: 25 x 37 (63.5 cm x 94 cm) This is an authentic example of a most imaginative and wonderful original map by Jaro Hess. His work depicts a marvelous wonderland including castles from every culture, and from his very own imagination. We see such familiar figures as the cow jumping over the moon, Jack climbing the Bean Stalk, the Emerald City of Oz, the house that belongs to Grandfather Know-All, Hansel and Gretel and the Gingerbread House, to name just a few of the well-known marvels of this wondrous poster. We also see figures such as mermaids, peculiar fishes and the mysterious island. This is an example of the first edition, identifiable by “The Wandering Jew.” Later reprints of this map from the 1950s replace the caption with “The Wanderer.” This map by the Czech-born artist Jaro Hess has been stimulating the imagination of youngsters of all ages since its original publication in 1930. Hess' painting, "Adventure in Storyland," which offered a dazzling Grand Unifying Theory of the world's fairy tales, was turned into a poster by The Child's Wonderland Company of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The poster provides not only a glimpse into the best-known fairy tales from different parts of the world, but also a glimpse into the inner world of Hess, who, due to the Great Depression, found it necessary to do whatever job came to hand, while at the same time indulging his passion for art. Condition: This map was dry mounted like nearly all other examples sometime in the 1930s. The map has been framed with uv-protective acrylic glass. Some light scuffs are apparent, but the overall image is very pleasing. Inventory #10889 31 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60602 | T: 312-609-0016mp10889a

Featured Map of the Day! 7/15/17 July 15 2017, 0 Comments

High Resolution Image By: George Vancouver Date: 1799 Dimensions: 11 x 8.75 inches (28 cm x 22.2 cm) Description: This important and influential map is part of a series depicting regions of the west coast of America which were charted by the famed English explorer George Vancouver, who, in 1792 became the first Englishman to pass the Golden Gate and enter San Francisco Bay. Though he provides sparse detail for the interior, his maps of the coastline are so accurate that they were relied upon for years following their appearance for navigating the West Coast of America. This map covers the coastline from approximately San Francisco in the north to Santo Domingo, Mexico. Vancouver was one of the first Englishman to visit, map and report on Spanish settlements along the Pacific Coast.   Today Vancouver is memorialized by Vancouver Island, which he discovered, the Hudson Bay Company's Fort Vancouver, the city of Vancouver, Vancouver Peninsula Australia, Mount Vancouver, the 8th highest mountain in Canada, Vancouver Bay in Jervis Inlet, and the Vancouver Maritime Museum. For his 250th birthday, the Canada Post issued a special postage stamp in his honor. Condition: This map is in B+ condition. Minor offsetting of text and a scarcely discernible water stain. Inventory: #10772

Featured Map of the Day! 7/14/17 July 14 2017, 0 Comments

High Resolution Image By: Jodocus Hondius / Henrie Fetherstone Date: 1625 (published) London Dimensions: 5.7 x 7.3 inches (14.5 x 18.5 cm This was originally from the Atlas Minor by Gerard Mercator and Johannes Janssonius, 1628. It displays six separately framed maps, Cuba at the top with Hispaniola below, and stacked insets at the left, of Havana Port, Jamaica, St. John, and Margarita (island off the coast of Venezuela, northwest of Trinidad). The text, in English, describes the city of Santo Domingo and its history under the Spanish and the introduction of sugar cane. The reverse is text headed “Spanish plantations, Ports, numbers in Hispaniola.” Condition: Right edge of page appears to have been trimmed in binding, slightly cutting into the map’s lower right margin, so a strip of paper has been added. Inventory #19181 31 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60602 | T: 312-609-0016

Featured Map of the Day! 7/13/17 July 13 2017, 0 Comments

16th Century World Map with Grotesque Figures