Adina Sommer`s Rare Antique Maps and Contemporary Art

St. Helena / The bay of Agoa de Saldanha

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Article ID AF0154
Artist Moll (1654-1732)
Hermann Moll (1654- 1732) London was a cartographer, engraver, and publisher. Moll produced his earliest maps from studying cartographers such as John Senex and Emanuel Bowen.‪ In the 1690s, Moll worked mainly as an engraver for Christopher Browne, Robert Morden and Lea, in whose business he was also involved. During this time he also published his first major independent work, the Thesaurus Geographicus. The success of this work likely influenced his decision to start publishing his own maps. For the production of his maps Moll relied on the most accurate geographical information possible from first hand. Moll benefited from his acquaintance with circumnavigator and privateer William Dampier, who returned to London in 1691 from his first circumnavigation of the world. Dampier wrote a report about the experiences of his twelve-year trip, which appeared in London in 1698 and had its fourth edition just a year later. Moll produced most of the maps and illustrations for the story, which was titled A New Voyage round the World. While Moll's cartographic material increased the clarity of Dampier's descriptions for the reader enormously, Dampier's geographical knowledge was extremely important for the accuracy of Moll's maps. At a time when cartographers relied on the local knowledge of merchants and captains, the acquaintance of a man like Dampier was decisive for the economic success of a cartographer like Moll. The growing public interest in travel literature and the enormous success of Dampier in turn stimulated other authors such as Daniel Defoe or Jonathan Swift to write similar works. They too would later fall back on Moll's artistic abilities to illustrate their works.
Title St. Helena / The bay of Agoa de Saldanha
Year ca. 1712
Description Map shows the island Saint Helena and the bay of Agoa Saldanha near the Cape of Good Hope.
Due to its remoteness and cliffs, St. Helena was uninhabited until the 16th century. In 1502 the Portuguese João da Nova landed on the island and named it after Helena, the mother of Emperor Constantine, as the day it was discovered was her name day. The Portuguese imported fruits and built some houses and a chapel. When they sailed on, they left their sick on the island but did not establish a permanent settlement. The Portuguese kept the island's existence a secret in order to secure its strategic importance. The island's first long-term resident was Fernão Lopes, a Portuguese soldier who had been severely punished by the governor of Goa for treason. On his way back to Portugal in 1516, he left the ship with a stopover on St. Helena and was left alone on the island. He died there around 1546. The first Englishman on the island was Thomas Cavendish, who anchored off St. Helena on 1588 with his ship Desire from the Pacific and stayed for twelve days. He described the island as an "earthly paradise"; from now on it was no longer a secret. James Lancaster arrived on the island in 1591. Around 1600 the Portuguese gave up St. Helena. Immediately afterwards it was occupied by the Dutch. The Dutch occupation lasted until 1651. In 1659 the British East India Company took possession of the island and built the fort (Jamestown) and a garrison. In 1673 the Dutch occupied St. Helena again, but were soon driven out by the English. The company that officially owned the island built large farms on which many blacks and Chinese worked. The wealth of St. Helenas increased, because because of the safe location large amounts of gold were kept and wealthy merchants resided on the island. The island of St. Helena has been a place of exile for heads of state and other personalities, such as Napoleon, the Zulu ruler Dinuzulu ka Cetshwayo, the Boer general Piet Cronjé with his soldiers and Chalid ibn Barghasch, who was ruler of the Sultanate of Zanzibar for a few days in 1896 .
Place of Publication London
Dimensions (cm)27,5 x 20
ConditionVery good
Coloringoriginal colored
TechniqueCopper print

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