MOLL, Herman (1654-1732). A New and Exact map of the Dominions of the King of Great Britain on Ye Continent of North America. London: Thos: Lowndes, John Bowles, and I. King, 1715.

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2 sheets joined, float-mounted and framed (sheet size: 23 6/8 x 40 2/8 inches, full margins showing the plate mark; framed size: 29 x 45 inches). AN EXCEPTIONALLY FINE engraved map of North America, the title within an elegant frame at the top, the dedication to William Dowglass "Captain General of all ye Leeward Islands in America by Queen Anne" within an elaborate armorial cartouche lower center, five detailed inset maps or scenes added in lower portion, including "A Maof the Improved Part of Carolina", "A Maof the Principal Part of North America", the celebrated "A View of ye Industry of Beavers in Canada", "Draught of ye Town and Harbour of Charles-Town" with a key, and a maof Louisiana and East Florida, all with original colour in outline.

One of the most important maps of the 18th century relating to America, this was the first large-scale map to show English developments in North America, and also the first to show the American postal routes. Minutely detailed and finely engraved, this map includes some of the most thorough and exact detail to grace any 18th century map. It includes insets of Thomas Nairne’s important and early map of South Carolina, the English, French and Indian settlements in the Carolinas, and Charleston Harbor. Moll’s celebrated depiction of beavers at work occupies an inset at right, a view of Niagara Falls (and several of its inhabitants).

Moll emigrated to London from Germany in about 1675. By 1678 he is recorded as working for the map-maker Moses Pitt as an engraver and frequenting famous Jonathan's Coffee House, where he mingled with the likes of Daniel Defoe, Jonathan Swift, the buccaneers William Dampier and Woodes Rogers, John Oldmixon, Thomas Salmon, Samuel Simpson, and for all of whom he made maps to accompany their works. "Moll first gained notice in London in the late 1670s as a fine engraver working for map publishers such as Moses Pitt, Sir Jonas Moore, the royal hydrographer Greenville Collins, John Adair, [Jeremiah] Seller and [Charles] Price, and others. What can be identified as his two earliest maps-'America' and 'Europe' respectively-and bearing the imprint 'H. Mol schulp.' appeared in Moore's 'A New Systeme of the Mathematicks Containing … a New Geography' in 1681… Moll worked increasingly independently. He published his first solo volume, the now rare 'Atlas Thesaurus' in 1695, and in 1701, by which time he worked completely on his own, he published his first major work, 'A System of Geography', an informative global geography with a full complement of crisp, straightforward maps that sold initially for 18s. a copy. Although relatively traditional and derivative, it helped to establish him as an independent geographer-cartographer.

"Moll's reputation rests upon a long and extremely fertile career of almost sixty years that yielded a diverse offering of over two dozen geographies, atlases, and histories and a myriad of individual maps, charts, and globes, spanning the known earth. Through his many works, he had also had an impact beyond geography and cartography on his adopted country and its future by graphically staunchly advocating early British expansion and empire" (Dennis Reinhartz for DNB). 

 

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