A Beautifully Engraved and Finely Hand-Colored Atlas of Grand Proportions


(Wien [Vienna]: Gedrukt bey Johann Peter v. Ghelen/Kaiserlichen Hof-/Universitäts-/ und Gemeiner Stadt Wien Buchdruckern, 1730 [but see below]). 556 x 335 mm. (21 7/8 x 13 1/8"). 6 p.l., plus letterpress indices interleaved with maps. Without the dedication leaf to Charles VI or double-page engraved dedication apparently found in some copies. Second or Third Edition.

FINE RECENT PERIOD-STYLE RED MOROCCO, covers with wide gilt dentelle border, raised bands, spine compartments densely gilt with floral frames and repeating tools, one black morocco label. Two engraved headpieces in preliminary leaves, engraved allegorical frontispiece, and 53 DOUBLE-PAGE MAPS, ALL COLORED BY A CONTEMPORARY HAND (the maps with principal parts colored in wash and outlined), most maps with one or more attractive engraved (uncolored) vignettes and/or decorative cartouches. Title printed in black and red; contents with letterpress over-slip corrections for maps 32 & 33. Moreland & Bannister, pp. 87-88. See: Ritter, "Seutter, Probst and Lotter: An Eighteenth-Century Map Publishing House in Germany," in "Imago Mundi," vol. 53 (2001), pp. 130-33. ◆The grand, convincing binding essentially as new. Narrow, faint dampstain along lower margin of many leaves (just creeping into the colored border on a handful of plates), letterpress leaves printed on paper of varying quality and consequently sometimes browned, thinned, or re-margined along fore edge, a few maps with inoffensive repairs and other minor imperfections, but in excellent condition overall, THE MAPS ESPECIALLY WELL PRESERVED, being clean, bright, and with most attractive hand coloring.

This is a beautifully engraved and finely hand colored atlas of grand proportions, predominantly containing detailed maps of Europe that are often handsomely embellished with elaborate vignettes composed of coats of arms, portraits, allegorical figures, and national symbols. In addition to these regional maps, the atlas also includes a lovely celestial map, a world map (with the polar regions shown in insets) and four continent maps showing North America with California as an island, and, curiously, a map of postal routes in Germany. Each of the regional maps is accompanied by a single or double-page letterpress "Alphabetischer Index," listing alphabetically every city and town recorded on the map and enabling the user easily to find its location by way of a grid system. According to Moreland & Bannister, the present work was first published in 1728 in Vienna and Augsburg, with subsequent reissues appearing in 1730 and 1736. Although the title page in this copy bears a publication date of 1730, the letterpress indices included with each regional map are dated anywhere from 1727-35; and while the maps themselves are undated, most are signed with the abbreviation "Sac. Caes. Mai. Geogr." or "S. C. M. G.," which, according to Ritter, indicates that they would have been produced after Seutter was granted the title of Imperial Geographer by Charles VI in 1731/2. Whenever our plates were produced and whatever Seutter's title might have been at the time, their impressions and coloring in the present copy are of very high quality. Initially apprenticed to a brewer, Georg Matthäus Seutter (1678-1757) trained as an engraver under Johann Baptist Homann in Nuremburg before setting up shop in his native Augsburg. Despite a rocky financial start to his new venture, Seutter's ability to produce a diverse array of maps eventually paid off; as Ritter tells us, "In addition to the usual topographical and world maps, Seutter produced not only town plans and views, war maps, maps showing the locations of Catholic orders, and globes, but also more unusual types of cartographic prints such as educational maps, fantasy maps, and tables of distances." Ritter also says that by the time of his death in 1757, Seutter had become "one of the most famous map publishers of Central Europe" and has long been "recognized . . . as one of the most important map publishers in Germany in the first half of the eighteenth century."

Price: $25,000.00