Bowen’s Map of Lima/View of Potosi 1744


Emanuel Bowen.  “A Plan of Lima” / “Potosi.”  From John Harris’ Complete Collection of Voyages and Travels.  London, 1744.  14 1/8 x 8 1/2.  Engraving.  Very good condition.


Emanuel Bowen and his son Thomas (born when his father was 53) were both map printers and sellers.  As engraver to George II of Britain and Louis XV of France, Emanuel Bowen worked in London from 1714 onwards.  Sadly, royal appointments and seeming prosperity were not enough to prevent Emanuel’s death in poverty, a legacy which he bequeathed to Thomas, who continuing the business, died in Clerkenwell workhouse in 1790.  Through all the vicissitudes of his life, however, Emanuel Bowen’s maps continued at a very high level of quality, as is exampled by his maps for John Harris’ volume of travels such as this one.  At top is a nice detailed map of the city of Lima, while the bottom is a view of the Bolivian silver mines at Potosi.  This latter is based on a 17th century view which was rather fanciful, with its large windmill, palm trees, and large castle on top of the mountain.