Stock number: 18692
"In 1629, threatened by pending competition from W.J. Blaeu and his sons, Jan Jansson and his partner Henricus Hondius set about revising the Mercator-Hondius atlas which (in respect of the world map) had continued unchanged for nearly thirty-five years.
The partners' new world map is a fine ornate example of the decorative cartography of the time. The two hemispheres are bordered by voluptuous representations of the four elements and other scenes: in the top corners are portraits of Julius Caesar and Claudius Ptolemy and in the bottom corners are portraits of the author's father Jodocus Hondius and his mentor Gerard Mercator.
For geographical detail Hondius has followed Speed and his contemporaries and also represents California as an island. New features include part of the north Australia coastline extending towards New Guinea and a redrawing of north-east Canada with 'Queen Anne's forland' (Baffin Island) shown completely encircled by open water."
"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 reengraved 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)