A fine example of the Mercator Hondius Atlas with English text

By MERCATOR, Gerard; Henricus HONDIUS; Johannes JANSSONIUS, 1638 

Atlas or a Geographicke Descriptions of the Regions, Countries and Kingdomes of the World, through Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, Represented by New & Exact Maps. Translated by Henry Hexham, Quarter-Maister to the Regiment of Colonell Goring.

World
  • Author: MERCATOR, Gerard; Henricus HONDIUS; Johannes JANSSONIUS
  • Publication place: A Amsterdam
  • Publisher: chez Henry Hondius, demeurant sur le Dam, a l’enseigne du Chien Vigilant
  • Publication date: 1633 [but 1638].
  • Physical description: Two volumes, folio atlas (500 by 350mm), engraved titles, with letterpress overslips over titles, dedication leaf to Charles I, double-page engraved portrait of Mercator and Hondius, 196 double-page engraved maps, English panelled calf, spine in six compartments separated by raised bands, richly gilt.
  • Inventory reference: 1108

Notes

The English edition of the Mercator-Hondius Atlas’ contained some 20 new maps: eight in the first volume and 12 in the second. This dramatic revision was greater than in any of the former editions of the atlas” (Koeman). Mercator’s maps of England, Scotland, and Ireland have been corrected and improved with new vignettes, and several others bear the imprint of Henricus Hondius. In the second volume one can see the rise of Janssonius within the publishing partnership with many of the regional maps of France, and many that previously bore Henricus Hondius’ name, now bearing Jansonnius’ imprint.

The present work would remain the only folio atlas produced by the great publishing houses of Janssonius and Blaeu to bear English text. The text was translated by Henry Hexham (1585?-1650), an English soldier and military writer who saw active service during the numerous Dutch campaigns of the early seventeenth century. It would appear that Hexham not only saw service, but also took up residence in Holland and became personally acquainted with both the then Prince of Orange, Prince Maurice of Nassau, and his brother Frederick Henry.

The present example conforms to Koeman Me 41B, with the title in the first volume printed on an overslip, which is pasted over the French title, although not the French imprint. 

Bibliography

  1. Koeman Me 41B
    • Koeman, C. (1967). Atlantes Neerlandici. Amsterdam: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. 6 vols.
  2. Van der Krogt 1:341.1B
    • Koeman, C and van der Krogt, Pieter (2000–2010). Koeman’s Atlantes Neerlandici. MS’t Goy-Houten: HES & De Graaf Publishers. 9 vols.
  3. Phillips Atlases 449.
    • Phillips, P. (1909–1992). A list of goegrpahical atlases in the Library of Congress. Washington: Govt. Print. Off.

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