Magazine article Geographical

London after the Fire: London by Homann's Heirs (1736-37)

Magazine article Geographical

London after the Fire: London by Homann's Heirs (1736-37)

Article excerpt

This map, which bears the rather unwieldy title (in translation) of 'Newest Ground-plan of the Cities of London and of Westminster, together with the Suburb of Southwark, wherein all Main Roads, large and small Lanes, even most of the City Gates and Thoroughfares, as also, what is accurately reported to be newly added up to the Year 1736', is an impressive copper-engraved chart from the firm of Homann's Heirs in Nurnberg, Germany. It was engraved on three copper-plates and, in this example, the resultant printed sheets have been joined to an overall size of 52 centimetres by 170 centimetres and then hand coloured.

Homann's Heirs claims that the map was "Getreulich aus dem Londonischen Original genom[m]en" ("faithfully copied from the London original"), but no-one seems to know from which "original" it was copied. What is likely is that the map originally consisted of only two sheets (the left and centre sheets here) and that the right-hand sheet was added soon after (but before 1750). Two pointers to this conclusion are that the earlier design's aesthetic balance was disturbed (the title cartouche no longer occupies either 'centre stage' or one corner); and, more obviously, the calligraphy differs. …

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