Antique Map of South America 1715 - stock photo
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Antique Map of South America 1715

Herman Moll (1654? – 1732) was an important 18th century map publisher and engraver based in London and Holland. Moll’s origins are disputed with some suggesting he was born in the Netherlands and others suggesting Germany – the Moll name was common in both countries during this period. Most likely Moll was a German from Brenen, has his friends and contemporaries suggest. What is known for certain is that he moved to London in 1680 where he worked as an engraver for Moses Pitt, among other London map publishers. Around the turn of the century, Moll set up his own shop where he produced a large corpus of work known for its high quality and decorative flair. Most of Moll’s early maps were issued as loose sheet that would be bound to order, however, he did publish several important atlases late in his career. Herman is known for making the bold claim that without a doubt “California is an Island" and "I have had in my office mariners who have sailed round it." Moll is also known to have a talent for making interesting friends and acquaintances. His circle is known to have included scientist Robert Hooke, the writers Daniel Defoe (Robinson Crusoe) and Jonathan Swift (Gullivers Travels), the pirates William Dampier and Woodes Rogers, and the archeologist William Stukeley. Herman Moll’s work was highly regarded for its decorative beauty and frequently copied both in his time and after his death in 1732 at St. Clement Danes, London.

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