Homann Sac. Caes. Ma.”

By HOMANN, Johann Baptist, 1715 

Globus Terrestris [and] Globus Celestis. juxtu observationes Parisienses Regia Academia Scientiarum constructus [and] juxtu observationes Parisienses Regia Academia Scientiarum constructus.

  • Author: HOMANN, Johann Baptist
  • Publication place: Nuremberg
  • Publisher: Opera loh. Bapt. Homanni Sac. Caes. Ma. Geography
  • Publication date: [after 1715]. Stands by Homaenischen Erben [Homann Heirs], [after 1730].
  • Physical description: A pair of terrestrial and celestial globes, each with 12 hand-coloured engraved paper gores, over a papier mâché and plaster sphere, each globe with papier mâché meridian rings, mounted on horizon rings with manuscript annotation VIII” and III” on the underside of each, respectively, supported by four quadrants with text Zufinden in Nurnberg bey denen Homaenischen Erben” connected to a baluster turned single ebonized wooden column resting on stepped circular base plinth.
  • Dimensions: Diameter: 64mm (2.5 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 15652


A fine pair of globes from the official mapmakers to the emperor.

Johann Baptist Homann (1664–1724) was a German geographer and cartographer. He was educated as a Jesuit and destined for an ecclesiastical career, but converted to Protestantism and then worked as a notary in Nuremberg. He founded a publishing business there in 1702, and published his first atlas in 1707, becoming a member of the Academy of Sciences in Berlin in the same year. He collaborated with Johann Gabriel Doppelmayr on his book Kosmotheoros’, which represented the solar system based on the Copernican system laid down by Christiaan Huygesn.

Homann was appointed Imperial Geographer to Charles VI in 1715, and produced his great work the following year, Grosser Atlas uber die ganze Welt’. Homann was well placed to take advantage of the decline of Dutch supremacy in cartographic publishing, and he became the most important map and atlas producer in Germany. After his death, the company was continued by his son Johann Christoph. When Johann Christoph died in 1730, the company continued under the name of Homann Heirs until 1848.

The cartography follows Homann’s pocket globe of c1700 with armillary sphere inside (see item 7). The present globe features an updated imprint on the cartouche stating Opera Joh. Bapt. Homann Sac. Caes. Ma. Geographi Noriberg”. The Sac. Caes. Ma.” indicates that Homann had been named official mapmaker to the emperor in the time between these two globes’ publications. It is rare to see a globe with this imprint.
The equatorial line is graduated in degrees, the ecliptic in degrees and showing the symbols of the signs of the Zodiac. Both are labelled. The prime meridian of Ferro is graduated in degrees, but not labelled; the tropics and the polar circles are drawn and labelled. The continents are coloured in outline showing rivers, mountains and (coastal) cities. California is depicted as an island, the coastline of Australia, Nova Hollandia”, is incomplete, but with Torres Straight between the continent and New Guinea drawn.

The imprint on the celestial globe also includes the reference to Homann as an official mapmaker to the emperor. The equatorial and the ecliptic are graduated, the polar circles and tropics are drawn and labelled. The 42 Ptolemaic and the non-Ptolemaic constellations are labelled and drawn.