MOLL, Herman

The Turkish Empire in Europe, Asia, and Africa dividid into all its governments ...

1715 - [c.1730]
Color : Original colors
Condition : A
Technique : Copper engraving

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Large map of the Ottoman Empire with beautiful views of Jerusalem, Smyrna and Constantinople.

This 18th century map by the leading English geographer, Herman Moll depicts the Ottoman Empire during the 18th century with high precision. It shows Spain, France and Germany in Europe North and extends south till Egypt in Africa. In the west it shows Morocco and stretches east to show the Arabian Gulf and a part of Persia. Thus, magnificently illustrating the Ottoman territories with their boarders in the Middle East and North Africa, Anatolia and  Greece. Moll included detailed notes describing landmarks of the region.

The striking feature of this map is it's illustrated vignettes around its corners. The bottom left corner shows a 4 illustrations: the first is a bird's eye view of the Holy city of Jerusalem by the Dutch travelling artist Cornelis de Bruijn. The view shows great precision with a key indicating the major landmarks of the city; the second is a view the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the old city of Jerusalem; the third and the fourth depict views of the inside of the Church showing cupola and kneeling worshipers. The top corners show a view of the city of Constantinople to the left and the city of Smyrna to the right.

The title is surrounded by a simple frame, while an elegant cartouche decorated with house Veron's coat of arms includes a dedication to Thomas Vernon (c. 1670 - 1726). Not to be confused with his father, he was a deputy and member of the "Turkey Merchant", an English chartered company formed in 1581 to conduct English trade with Turkey and the Levant or its successors. As indicated on the cartouche, he was a the Commissioner of the Board of Trade and Plantations between 1713 and 1714.

This map was first published by Guillaume de L'Isle in 1714, Moll published his English map based on De L'isle map in 1715. It appeared in his atlas The World Described, a remarkable early eighteenth century atlas that depicts to the public Britains worldwide domains and and economic interests. (1).

CROWLEY, J. E. (2016). Herman Moll’s “The World Described” (1720): Mapping Britain’s Global and Imperial Interests. Imago Mundi68(1), 16–34.
MOLL, Herman