A very attractive and finely engraved early 17th century map of Japan and Korea which was published in Mercator / Hondius’s Atlas Sive Cosmographia (Amsterdam: [Latin text] 1606-1636).
This stunning map was based on the one by Abraham Ortelius which in turn was copied from the manuscript(s) of the Portuguese Jesuit and cartographer Luis (or Ludovico) Teixeira. The islands of Honshu, Kyushi and Shikoku are shown with some accuracy though the island of Hokkaido is absent. The limited knowledge of the Far East is further demonstrated by the depiction of the Korean peninsula as an island, though Hondius himself does question this with a descriptive note written in Latin. In keeping with the Hondius workshop, the map is richly ornamented with decorative cartouches with strapwork, a sea monster, a European and Japanese ship and especially fine calligraphy.
Jodocus Hondius (1563-1612) was one of the most notable cartographers and engravers of his time. In 1604, he bought the map plates of Mercator’s ‘Atlas’ which, in spite of its excellence, had sold modestly in comparison to the one produced by Ortelius. Combining 40 of his own maps with those by Mercator, Hondius went on to produce one of the greatest atlases of the period. Often referred to as the ‘Mercator / Hondius Atlas’ it was published in numerous editions and in several languages including Latin, Dutch, French, German and Spanish. After his death, the atlas was further expanded by his two sons, Jodocus the Younger and Henricus, and then by the eminent cartographer, Jan Jansson.
- This is an original copperplate engraving with later hand colour.
- Printed area is approximately 44.4cms by 34.3cms.
- The map is in very good condition with excellent margins; centrfolded, as issued. There is some minor water staining in the left and right margins of the paper but well away from the printed area. Click on image for a better view.
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- Guaranteed to be over 380 years old.