the rarest and most important early map of pomerania is this majestic twelve-sheet wall map published in 1618. It was the work of Professor Eilhard Lubben of Rostock University who had been ordered in 1610 to create the map by Philipp II, Duke of Pomerania, who wanted a large-scale map that would be a comprehensive geography and history of the duchy.
Professor Lubben spent 1611 and 1612 travelling throughout the country measuring hundreds of angles and distances, but had little geographical information to guide him. The only earlier map of Pomerania was a small work by Peter Artopaus (later used by Münster and Ortelius), though Lubben himself had also mapped the island of Rugen on the Pomeranian coast in 1609.
After the map had been completed, the copperplates were decorated with noble arms, a genealogical tree, portraits (including a prominent engraving of Philip II), and forty-six town views (many of these towns are shown here for the first time). It was at last completed 1618 in the Netherlands by Nicolaes van Geelkercken, but very few copies were actually printed. Some were presented to the Pomeranian court, but the shortage of paper and the thirty years war prevented the printing of additional copies. Hence, no example from that 1618 printing has survived.
Geelkerken's copperplates were discovered in the eighteenth century in Stralsund (a town featured in a vignette on the map), and in 1757 the map was reissued, but, as Scharfe notes "again only a small number of copies were printed and so this edition is a very rare object today".
Lubben's success won him accolades from the great Dutch mapmakers who used his map as a source. It was the model for virtually all atlas maps of Pomerania of the seventeenth century, including those of Blaeu and Janssonius, and Hondius (who probably printed this map) dedicated his famous wall map of Asia to Lubben: see Shilder, Monumenta Cartographica Neerlandica VI, pp.150-151.
Lubben's Pomerania remained the only map of consequence of the region from its inception in 1618 until the Prussian topographical survey of the eighteenth century. It is a landmark of cartography in the great Dutch tradition and known in only a handful of copies. This may be the finest example to have survived.
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