Copper engraving, 38.5 x 50 cm; a map of Nassau, from the scarce English language edition, with distinctive original English hand-colour, English text on verso.
The original Mercator Atlas (parts published from 1585 onwards) was not a commercial success; the copper printing plates were bought by Hondius c. 1604, and a large number of maps were added for his first edition of 1606, still trading on Mercator’s name. Janssonius was his son-in-law, who took over the business in the mid 1630s. He began to erase Hondius’ name and replace it with his own at about this time. He also reworked the decorative elemts without necessarily revising the cartography, as here. English was still a relatively provincial language in early seventeenth-century Europe and there is only one edition of this major series of atlases with English text (Koeman indicates the possibility of a second edition of 1641, but does not specify examples or offer a collation; this is in marked contrast to numerous editions in French, Dutch, German and of course Latin, the universal scholarly language). The translation, according to the title-page, was by “Henry Hexham, Quartermaister to the Regiment of Colonell Goring”.
Koeman, Atlantes Neerlandici, Me 41A.