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A New & Correct Map of the Whole World: Moll 1719

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  • Title: A New & Correct Map of the Whole World
  • Author: Herman Moll
  • Date: 1719
  • Medium: Hand-colored copperplate engraving
  • Condition: Very Good Plus - Original color (refreshed), a few areas of surface dirt, expert repair to wearing/ discoloration along issued folding, to large repaired tear in lower right quadrant near the Indian Ocean, and to a few wormholes throughout. Horizontal crease extending across Siberia.
  • Inches: 49 ¼ x 29 ½ [Paper]
  • Centimeters: 1 x 74.93 [Paper]
  • Product ID: 317019

Beautiful large scale world map published by Herman Moll in 1719. Moll (c. 1654-1732) made his career in London as a cartographer, publisher, and eventually a producer of pocket globes. However, his birthplace and exact nationality remain unknown. Many assume he could be Dutch due to his involvement in Dutch cartography, the prevalence of the surname ‘Moll’ in the Low Countries at the time, and a trip he took later in life to the region. However, ‘Moll’ was also a German name, casting this hypothesis into doubt. Moll enjoyed a long and successful career, collaborating frequently with other London publishers and engravers and earning an esteemed reputation among his intellectual contemporaries. In fact, he is mentioned by name in Jonathan Swift’s famous novel Gulliver’s Travels (1726). His maps, noted for their ornament and beauty, retained their influence long after his death, and today remain highly collectible.


Map depicts the world’s continents according to the Mercator Projection, a method devised by cartographer Gerard Mercator (1512-1594) to represent the three-dimensional globe in two dimensions. Colored outlines help delineate the world’s various landmasses and the regions within them, and several insets and diagrams give additional details about the map’s contents. In the lower left corner, Moll includes a map of ‘The North Pole’ showing the theoretical locations of the Northwest and Northeast Passages through the Arctic:

The Letter A. in this Draught is the Place which all Adventurers aimed to come at in order to make ye N. West Passage, & California to ye South Sea &c. And B. is that for ye N. East Passage --- Iapon to the East Indies &c.

Related to this, the primary map shows an inlet titled the ‘Straits of Annian’ (the Strait of Anián) in the approximate location of the present-day Pacific Northwest. This legendary strait, which first appeared on maps in the mid-sixteenth century, supposedly divided the Asian and North American continents and was thought to be the Northwest Passage long sought after by navigators. In 1728, explorers located the strait, which we know today as the Bering Strait; however, due to limitations in maritime technology and the region’s heavy ice, a viable Northwest Passage did not exist until the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. In other inaccuracies, Moll includes California as an island directly beneath the Straits of Annian.


Beneath the main title cartouche in the upper left corner appears an inset demonstrating degrees of magnetic variation across the globe:

This Chart is to shew ye Degrees of the Variation of ye Compas’s as they were Observ’d in ye Year 1700 in ye Atlantick and Indian Ocean; and you will see in ye Map ye Variations of ye Compass markt over ye Great South Sea, as they were found in 17 9/10.


Across the length of the map following the equator, Moll indicates the direction of winds and currents through shaded lines and arrows:

In this Map is inserted A View of the General and Coasting Trade-winds, Monsoons or the Shifting Trade-winds. Note that the Arrows among the Lines shew the Course of those General & Coasting Winds and the Arrows in the void Spaces shew the Course of the Shifting Trade-winds, and the Abbreviations Sept. &c. Shew the Times of the Year when such Winds Blow.


To the left of the map in ‘The Great South Sea,’ a series of compass roses indicate changes in magnetic variation between Cabo san Lucas and Guam:

A Tract of ye Run between C. St. Lucas and ye I. Guam Shewing ye Variations of ye Compas as they were Found in ye Year 17 9/10 by Capt Woodes Rogers.

Throughout the map, Moll includes mentions of famous explorers, marking their routes across the ocean. He indicated major topographic features and cities, as well as the locations of Native peoples.


Finally, along the map’s left-hand border, Moll gives his thoughts on the present state of the map world, encouraging the public to question and confirm the accuracy of cartographers:

Advertisement. Having finish’d a New and Compleat Atlas or Set of 27 Two-sheet Maps, and omitted no Pains to have them very correctly done, according to the Newest Observations and latest Discoveries, which are well known to have been very many within the compass of a few Years; I hope Noblemen, Gentlemen and others, will not suffer themselves to be imposed upon by Old, incorrect and falsly projected Maps, under what denomination soever they may be represented to the Publick, without taking a little Care to look into and examine them. It is within ye Memory of many living, that Moses Pitts Bookseller undertook to Publish a New English Atlas, his Proposals were very plausible, and Persons of great Note, who were to inspect and give their Assistance, nam’d therein, among whom was Prince Rupert, by whose Direction I drew several New Draughts for that work. but notwithstanding the vast Incouragement Pitts had by the subscriptions of Persons of Quality and others; he had so little Regard to do ‘em Iustice, according to his Proposals, that he purchased an Impression of Old and Incorrect Maps for his Pretended New Atlas; adding only a few poorly perform’d Plates to it, which I hope will be a sufficient Caution to every body not to take anything of this kind for the future upon Trust and unexamined.


A New and Correct Map of the
Whole World
Sheweing ye Situation of its Principal Parts. Viz the
Oceans, Kingdoms, Rivers, Capes, Ports, Moun-
tains, Woods, Trade-Winds, Monsoons, Variation of ye
Compass, Climats, &c. With the most Remarkable
Tracks of the Bold Attempts which have been made to
Find out the North East and North West Passages.
The Projection of this Map is Call’d Mercator’s the Design is
to make it Useful both for Land and Sea. And it is laid
Down with all possible Care, According to the Newest and
Most Exact Observations By
Herman Moll Geographer.

Sold by H. Moll, where you may have his New Atlas or Set of Twenty-seven Two-sheet Maps, bound or single, all Colour’d according to his Direction, over against Devereux-Court, between Temple Bar and St. Clement’s Church, in the Strand.

Sold by I. King at the Globe in the Poultrey near Stocks Market