Hondius’ Map of the Barbary Coast



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Copper engraving, 35 x 46.5 cm, from the scarce English language edition, original hand-colour, short crease to right of centrefold, English text on verso.

This map shows the north African coast and the Mediterranean, with Tunis (and the ruins of neighbouring Carthage) and the Nile Delta in panels beneath. 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.


Hondius’ Map of the Barbary Coast


HONDIUS, Jodocus



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Printed Area Measurements

35 x 46.5 cm