MOLL, Herman (1654-1732). To the Right Honourable Charles Earl of Sunderland, and Baron Spencer of Wormleighton... This Map of South America. [London:] H. Moll, D. Midwinter, T. Bowles, P. Overton and John King, [ca 1730].

$ 2,800.00

2 sheets joined, matted and framed (23 x 38 inches to the neat line; framed size 29 4/8 x 45 4/8 inches). A fine and attractive engraved map of South America, with original hand-colour in outline, the dedication within an elaborate historiated cartouche lower right and a large vignette of "Potosi" lower left.

Moll's elegant map of South America from "A Catalogue of a New and Complete set of Twenty-five Two-Sheet Maps" first published 1710-1715 and then re-issued ca 1730 with 30 maps. Including several legends, including one beneath the Island of Juan Fernandez telling of castaway Alexander Selkirk's rescue from there in 1709, and an attack on rival mapmakers: "The World is in nothing more scandalously imposed upon, than by Maps put out by ignorant Pretenders, who most falsly and impudently assume y.e titles of y.e Queen's Geographers, more particularly they that have publish'd two several Copies, each of two-sheets, of a falsly projected French map of South America, done at Paris in 1703, and to deceive mankind have dedicated both to Dr. Halley, Savilian Professor of Geometry at Oxford, and they are pretend in y.e dedication that it is Corrected by his own Discoveries... these false Maps differ from D.r Halley's and all other late Observations, and consequently make our Sailing to y.e South Sea less by about a Thousand Miles than really it is, every body may easily judge what a Dangerous consequence these maps may produce, if ever they should be us'd at Sea, and y.e wrong notions they must give others at land are no less apparent. NB. that y.e Projection of these Maps is also notoriouly false".

It is not surprising that Moll should include mention of Alexander Selkirk on his map. The story of his rescue by Dampier in 1709 after 4 and a half years of being marooned was a sensation, and became the basis for Moll's friend Daniel Defoe's "Robinson Crusoe", 1623. In addition, Moll's maps of South America, including those published in his "Compleat Geographer" also of 1623, had long influenced a lucrative trading scheme devised by Defoe and proposed by him to the authorities on several occasions, and provided Defoe with a vision of the South Seas in which to set his fictional accounts of Robinson Crusoe, and "A New Voyage Around the World", 1625. Moll's earliest map of South America appeared in William Dampier's (Selkirk's rescuer) "A New Voyage Round the World" in 1697, then in his own "The World Described", 1720. For more information about this map, or a warm welcome to see it and other maps in our library at 72nd Street, NYC, please contact Caleb Kiffer, in the Rare Map Department