By Appt. Alamo, CA 94507 , United States Call Seller 925.272.8170


Florida and Virginia: A 17th Century Hand-colored Map by Hondius after Mercator

$ 1,075
  • Description
    This hand-colored early 17th century copper-plate map entitled "Virginia et Florida" was originally created as a larger map by Gerard Mercator and published by Jodocus Hondius in 'Atlas Cosmographicae' of 1606. This reduced version was published in Amsterdam in 1607 by Jodocus Hondius in his "Atlas Minor". The map depicts a large Virginia and Florida, as they existed in the early 17th century. One of the most desirable early small maps of the American Southeast, it covers the eastern coast of North America from the Chesapeake Bay south to St. Augustine, including present day North and South Carolina and Georgia. Several named towns are shown along the coast. The map uses many Native American names for landmarks and villages, including Secotan, a Native American village in eastern North Carolina. The many islands of North Carolina's Outer Banks are included. It also includes the names of British and Spanish colonies. John Smith's firsthand observations were not yet available, which explains the inaccurate representation of the Chesapeake.

    This hand-colored map is printed on chain-linked, laid paper with wide margins and apparent mild uniform toning. There is Latin text on the verso. The sheet measures 6.75" high by 8.63" wide. There is a barely visible crease in the mid and lower portions of the map, which appears most likely to be related to the production of the paper. There is a small spot in the left neat line, a tiny spot in the upper neat line on the left and a tiny notch at the edge of the left margin, slightly darkened around its periphery. There is another tiny notch at the edge of the upper margin, as well as faint discoloration in the lower margin. The map is otherwise in very good condition.

    Jodocus Hondius the Elder (1563-1612), known also by his Dutch name, Joost de Hondt, was one of the most prominent geographers and engravers of his time. His work along with that of Ortellius and Mercator, contributed to the establishment of Amsterdam as the center of cartographic publishing in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Hondius was raised in Ghent, working as a young man as an engraver, instrument maker, and globe maker. Hondius moved to London in 1584, to escape religious persecution in Flanders. One of his early projects was to engrave the gores for the famous pair of globes created by Emery Molyneux’s in 1592. Hondius' cartographic skills were valued by explorers and navigators, including Sir Francis Drake, Thomas Cavendish, and Walter Raleigh. When these men returned from their voyages, they gave Hondius access to manuscript charts and descriptions, which he then used to update his maps, making them the most accurate available at the time. He is also responsible for his portraits of Sir Francis Drake, whose exploits he popularized. In 1589, Hondius produced a famous map of present-day northern California, which Drake named New Albion. This corresponds to present-day Point Reyes and includes an area in Marin County, north of San Francisco, named Drake's Landing. Hondius returned to Amsterdam in 1593, where he remained until his death in 1612 at age 48. He remained and active engraver during this period, producing the copper plates for John Speed’s famous Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine. One of Hondius’ most successful commercial ventures was the reprinting of Mercator’s atlas. When he acquired the Mercator plates, he added 38 maps, many engraved by him, and released the atlas under Mercator’s name in addition to his own, helping to solidify Mercator’s reputation posthumously. Hondius contributed many of his own important cartographic innovations, including the introduction of the decorative map border and the development of the 17th century large Dutch wall map, often included in the paintings of Jan (Johannes) Vermeer (1632-1675). When Hondius died in 1612, his sons Jodocus, the Younger and Henricus, took over the business. His son-in-law, Johannes Janssonius, joined the firm and was also listed as a co-publisher for subsequent atlases.

    Gerard Mercator (1512-1594) was a famous geographer, engraver and instrument maker. He created his first map in 1540. Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, then employed him as a cartographer and globe maker. When he was accused of heresy by the church, he fled to Duisberg, Germany in 1552. There he produced his first three volume work. He was the first to call the book an "Atlas", named for the mythical character holding the world on his shoulders. Jodocus Hondius reprinted Mercator's atlas in 1606, after Mercator's death, adding 38 maps of his own. He credited Mercator for his original creations, which contributed to Mercator's stature and fame. Gerard Mercator was responsible for the establishment of the Dutch Low Countries as the commercial map capital of the world during the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Mercator modernized map making in the 16th century, based on mathematical and geographical calculations, some which became known as Mercator Projections, and are still in use today. Mercator’s maps, globes and atlases were highly valued and were sold to academics, navigators and collectors all over the 16th century world. Another famous Dutch cartographic contemporary of Mercator, Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598) from Antwerp, was the first to publish a book of maps in 1570, the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, while Mercator published his maps between 1585 and 1595 and was the first to call his book an atlas. Mercator was much more of a scientist and academic than Ortelius and his maps reflected his more meticulous approach to detail and accuracy. Mercator focused his career more on academic cosmographic pursuits than he did in commercial money-making and as a result his cartographic legacy was small during his lifetime. It was Jodocus Hondius' re-issuing of Mercator's landmark maps that established his lasting exalted reputation.

    Reference: Burden 155
  • More Information
    Documentation: Signed
    Period: Pre 18th Century
    Condition: Good.
    Creation Date: 1607
    Styles / Movements: Americana, Traditional
    Incollect Reference #: 572691
  • Dimensions
    W. 8.63 in; H. 6.75 in; D. 0.13 in;
    W. 21.92 cm; H. 17.15 cm; D. 0.33 cm;
Message from Seller:

Timeless Intaglio is an online gallery of rare and collectable antiquarian prints, maps and books. Although we specialize in all forms of vintage printed works on paper, the majority were created with the intaglio method of transferring ink from a plate, usually copper, to paper with a technique utilizing pressure generated by a press. Email us directly:

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