|Method||Copper engraved with hand colour|
|Published||Henr. Hondius A° 1630 [Amsterdam, 1636]|
|Dimensions||380 x 545 mm|
A superb example of the first state of Henricus Hondius' double-hemisphere world map, from the 1636 French edition of the Atlantis Maioris Appendix. The map is of paramount importance in the history of cartography, being the first widely disseminated and dated map to record Dutch explorations along the north coast of Australia. The map was intended to replace the earlier world map by Henricus' father Jodocus, mostly in response to the rapid expansion and success of the publishing house of the Blaeu family, Hondius' great rivals. Cartographically, the map closely follows the 1627 double hemisphere by John Speed, being one of the very earliest atlas world maps to show California as an island. Japan is shown oriented incorrectly, and parts of the theorised northwest passage are depicted. The map is beautifully ornamented in hand colour. The coasts and borders of the continents are outlined in hand colour, and the seas are populated with ships, sea monsters, and a large school of flying fish between South America and Africa. Three decorative baroque cartouches enclose a dedication to a number of esteemed academics from the University of Paris, a note on Dutch explorations across the globe, and a description of the discovery of America by Columbus in 1492, how it was claimed for the Kingdom of Castille, and how it came to be named after Amerigo Vespucci in 1499.
Surrounding the double hemispheres is a large and very fine ornate border. In each corner of the plate, a baroque cartouche contains the portrait of a notable geographical figure: Julius Caesar, who allegedly dispatched 4 surveyors, one in each cardinal direction, in an attempt to chart the known world, Claudius Ptolemy, the 1st century AD Greek Alexandrian polymath and father of geography, Gerard Mercator, the leading figure of the Flemish cartographic Golden Age, and Jodocus Hondius, father of Henricus and founder of the successful and influential Hondius publishing house. Beside each portrait, allegorical figures represent the Four elements. Ignis (Fire) is represented by a youth in a flaming golden chariot, probably Phaethon, son of Helios, along with a phoenix, a dragon, and a salamander. Aer (Air) is a crescent-moon crowned female figure, perhaps Diana Selene, accompanied by an eagle, and a pair of halcyones. Aqua (Water) depicts a young river god, his hair garlanded with kelp, who pours a barrel of freshwater into an ocean, populated by a pair of sea monsters and a sailing ship. Finally, Terra (Earth) is a beautiful maiden, crowned with wheat and holding a cornucopia, with beasts wild and domestic at rest beside her. At the centre of the border, in the space created by the curve of the double hemisphere, are depictions of the Sun and Moon, a Celestial Globe in a cradle, and a vignette of the nations paying homageto Europa, mistress of the globe.
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.
Shirley 336 i/iv
Condition: Central vertical fold as issued. Minor creasing to central folds. Repaired tear to bottom of central fold. Trimmed to border of map on left, as issued, now professionally remargined. Minor time toning to edges of sheet. French text on verso. Framed in an antique gold frame.