Moll, Herman

Moll's fine map of Terra Firma or Northern South America


Terra Firma


Herman Moll's scarce map of Terra Firma and the Caribbean Islands. No sale of this item is recorded in AMPR in the last 17 years.

Covers from Cuba south as far as the Amazon River. Includes the modern day nations of Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Guyana and Brazil. Moll notes the city of Manoa and the location of El Dorado (lost city of gold) west of the Prime or Parima Lake.

During Spain's New World Empire, its mainland coastal possessions bordering the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico were referred to collectively as the Spanish Main. The southern portion of these coastal possessions were known as the Province of Tierra Firme ( Terra Firma ), or the "Mainland province". (Source Wikipedia.

From Moll's "A System of Geography: Or A New and Accurate Description of the Earth In all its Empires, Kingdoms and States" (London), 1701.

Herman Moll (circa 1654-1732)

Herman Moll distinguished himself as an eminent cartographer, engraver, and publisher, gaining substantial recognition for his work during the latter part of the 17th and the early 18th centuries. Originally based in London, Moll began his profession as an engraver, producing work as early as the 1670s. It wasn't long before he expanded his repertoire to include cartography and map publishing, often collaborating with renowned cartographers and publishers of his time.

With the dawn of the 18th century, Moll's career took off. His cartographic portfolio was impressively varied, spanning maps of England and the British Isles, the American colonies, Africa, the entire world, and even the solar system. Among his most distinguished works are "The World Described," an anthology of 30 individual maps published in a variety of editions between 1715 and 1753, and the large-scale "Atlas Geographus," which was published in monthly installments from 1708 to 1717.

One of the characteristic traits of Moll's maps lies in their elaborate cartouches, or decorative map titles, and the comprehensive textual commentary they included. His maps often bore a reflection of Britain's geopolitical and colonial interests during that era, drawing attention to regions of significant commercial and strategic value.

Beyond his contributions as a cartographer, Moll also played an active role in the intellectual circles of early 18th-century London. He maintained associations with prominent individuals of his time, including the famed writer Jonathan Swift and the notorious pirate William Dampier.

CREATOR: Moll, Herman



BODY OF WATER: Caribbean Sea

CONDITION: Fair.  Faint color. Map shows dirt and wear from handling.

COLORING: Old outline color.


SIZE: 6 " x 5 "




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