America noviter delineata

Method Copper engraved with original hand colour
Artist Hondius, Henricus
Published Auct: Henrico Hondio. 1631 [Amsterdam, c.1639]
Dimensions 375 x 500 mm
Notes A beautiful example with original hand colour of the Hondius family's celebrated map of the Americas, first published separately in 1618. The map itself is based closely upon two earlier maps of North and South America published by the Hondius' chief rival, Willem Blaeu. Following the death of Jodocus Hondius Jnr. in 1629, the plate passed to his brother Henricus, who removed the original figural borders to reduce the size of the map for inclusion in his Atlantis Novi. The current example is the third state printing of 1631, with Henricus' imprint replacing that of his brother in the title cartouche, and was published in the Nouvel Atlas circa 1639.

Cartographically the map falls at an interesting period in the mapping of the Americas. Tierra del Fuego had been proven to be an island, rather than a promontory of the putative Terra Australis, in 1617. Hondius' inset map of the southern continent makes this inconsistency clear. New Guinea likewise is shown as a separate landmass, though what is now Australia and Antarctica remain joined. A similar inset map at top shows the Arctic, with a focus on Greenland and the Davis Straits, though the phantom island of Frisland is still to be seen. Opportunistically, this boxed map also hides what would otherwise be a large blank space in the north-eastern reaches of modern Canada. Perhaps the most interesting cartographic feature though is the treatment of California. Henricus Hondius' map of the world, published in 1630, was more than any other map of the era responsible for popularising the mistaken identification of California as an island, rather than a peninsula. The earlier, correct, treatment in this map seems to have been slightly undermined by the map's colourist, who uses the hand-coloured outline to break the peninsula just below the modern-day Baja California border. The rest of the map is beautifully ornamented with outline colour, roughly dividing the northern continent into its colonial powers, while South America features illustrations of Brazilian cannibals and Patagonian giants, while the famous 'City of Gold' El Dorado can be seen on the shores of Lake Parime. The waters of the Atlantic and Pacific are populated by sea monsters and numerous sailing ships, while the title is enclosed in a decorative title cartouche.

Henricus Hondius (1597 - 16th August 1651), often called Hendrik Hondius the Younger to differentiate him from the earlier, and unrelated portrait engraver Hendrik Hondius the Elder, was the son of the famous cartographer Jodocus Hondius. Like his father, Henricus was an engraver, cartographer, and publisher. He first came to prominence through his publication in 1606 of a new version of Mercator's 1569 World Map, the plates for which he had obtained from Mercator's grandson Rumold. Following his father's death, Henricus co-ran the family business, eventually partnering with his brother-in-law, Jan Jansson.

Jodocus Hondius the Younger (1594-1629) was a Dutch Flemish cartographer, engraver, and publisher, and the son of the famous geographer Jodocus Hondius the Elder. With his brother, Henricus, and his mother Coletta, the sister of Pieter van den Keere, Jodocus took over the family printing business upon the death of his father in 1612. Although not as prolific an engraver as his father or brother, Jodocus still produced an impressive oeuvre of cartographic works. Chief amongst them are a series of over 200 miniature maps he engraved in 1616 for later editions of Bertius' Tabularum Geographicarum Contractarum. It seems that Jodocus and his brother Henricus fell out over the running of the family business, and upon his death in 1629, his own plates were sold to Willem Blaeu, the family's key competitor.

Burden 192 iii/v

Condition: Superb early hand colour. Central vertical fold as issued. Repaired tear to bottom of central fold. Creasing to bottom corners of map. Minor verdigris marking to verso. French text
Framing unmounted
Price £2,500.00
Stock ID 48366

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