Leen Helmink Antique Maps

Antique map of Sir Francis Drake by Jodocus Hondius

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Stock number: 19469

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Jodocus Hondius (biography)


Franciscus Draeck Nobilissimus Eques Angliae Ano. Aet. Sue 43.

First Published

London, 1583

This Edition



40.0 x 31.0 cms




This Item is Sold


Large seminal portrait of the illustrious circumnavigator Francis Drake, made from live by his contemporary Jodocus Hondius the Elder, the best engraver of the day, during his years when he worked in London. Hondius incorporated Drake's new discoveries in two of his world maps from first hand. The print is closely related to those two maps and it is considered the best contemporary portrait of Drake.

A window in the background gives an outlook of an English port. A large globe is hanging from the ceiling.

The title states that Drake is depicted at age 43, meaning that the portrait was made in 1583.

The portrait is so important that Hans Peter Kraus uses it as the frontispiece of his monumental book about Drake.


Second state of ca 1733 (the unfinished first state of 1583 is only known in two examples).

An excellent condition, strong imprint of the copperplate, margins cut short as with all other known copies. A very desirable collector's example of this decorative and seminal print.


Franciscus Draeck Nobilissimus Eques Angliae Anno Aetatis Suae 43

Francis Drake, the most noble knight of England, in the 43rd year of his age.

Poem of Praise at the bottom

Habes: Lector candide fortissimus ac invictissimus Ducis Draeck ad Vivum Imaginem qui toto terrarum orbe, duorum annorum, et mensium decem spatio, Zephyris faventibus, circumducto, Angliam sedes proprias 4. Calendas Octobris anno a partu Virginis 1580 revisit cum antea portu soluisset Idibus Decembris anni 1577.

Here you have, candid reader, the live image of the most courageous and unconquered Duke Drake, who, favored by the West winds, was led around the entire globe in the space of two years and ten months, and revisited England, his homeland, on the 4th day before the Calends of October in the year 1580 following the Virgin giving birth, having previously set sail from port in December in the year 1577.

Jodocus Hondius (1563-1612)
Jodocus Hondius the Younger (son) (1594-1629)
Henricus Hondius (son) (1597-1651)

Jodocus Hondius the Elder, one of the most notable engravers of his time, is known for his work in association with many of the cartographers and publishers prominent at the end of the sixteenth and the beginning of the seventeenth century.

A native of Flanders, he grew up in Ghent, apprenticed as an instrument and globe maker and map engraver. In 1584, to escape the religious troubles sweeping the Low Countries at that time, he fled to London where he spent some years before finally settling in Amsterdam about 1593. In the London period he came into contact with the leading scientists and geographers of the day and engraved maps in The Mariner's Mirrour, the English edition of Waghenaer's Sea Atlas, as well as others with Pieter van den Keere, his brother-in-law. No doubt his temporary exile in London stood him in good stead, earning him an international reputation, for it could have been no accident that Speed chose Hondius to engrave the plates for the maps in The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine in the years between 1605 and 1610.

In 1604 Hondius bought the plates of Mercator's Atlas which, in spite of its excellence, had not competed successfully with the continuing demand for the Ortelius Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. To meet this competition Hondius added about 40 maps to Mercator's original number and from 1606 published enlarged editions in many languages, still under Mercator's name but with his own name as publisher. These atlases have become known as the Mercator/ Hondius series. The following year the maps were re-engraved in miniature form and issued as a pocket Atlas Minor.

After the death of Jodocus Hondius the Elder in 1612, work on the two atlases, folio and miniature, was carried on by his widow and sons, Jodocus II and Henricus, and eventually in conjunction with Jan Jansson in Amsterdam. In all, from 1606 onwards, nearly 50 editions with increasing numbers of maps with texts in the main European languages were printed.

(Moreland and Bannister)