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North Pole by Henricus Hondius. 1637

With the many advances in knowledge of the Arctic waters in the first third of the century, the Gerard Mercator map of the North Pole, 1595, had become obsolete. In recognition of the English's prominent role in pursuing the North-West Passage, Hondius introduced a new polar map for the English edition of his atlas, 1636. 
Hondius drew upon the cartography of Henry Briggs, 1625, for the outline of Hudson Bay and supplemented it with the knowledge of the west coast from Thomas' map, 1633. However, he does correctly assume that Baffin Island is an island. Like many other cartographers before him, he is confused by the early English voyages depicting M Forbishers Streate in Greenland. Similar to the AMERICA SEPTENTRIONALIS of the same year, he incorporates a second cartouche left blank. Along the Atlantic coast of Labrador, we find for the first time much Dutch nomenclature, reflecting their increased whaling activities in these waters. It is also interesting that virtually all the earlier imaginary islands in the North Atlantic are now omitted. (Burden)


The Hondius Family

Jodocus Hondius the Elder (1563-1612)

Joost d’Hondt was born at Wakken (Flanders) in 1563. Two years later, his family settled down in Ghent, where young Joost displayed a great gift for drawing and calligraphy. By study and lessons, he developed his talents and became an engraver with a good reputation.

Due to the circumstances of war, he moved in 1584 to London where he settled down as an engraver, instrument-maker and map-maker. In 1587, he married Coletta van den Keere, sister of the well-known engraver, Pieter van den Keere (Petrus Kaerius); some years earlier his sister, Jacomina, had married Pieter van den Berghe (Petrus Montanus). Joost, who had latinized his name to Jodocus Hondius, closely co-operated with his two brothers-in-law.

The political situation in the Northern Netherlands in 1593 was such that Jodocus seemed to be justified in establishing himself in Amsterdam, where so many Antwerp printers, publishers, and engravers had gone. In this new centre of cartography, Jodocus Hondius set up his business “In de Wackere Hondt” (in the vigilant dog), this name being an allusion to his birthplace and name. Here he engraved many maps and published atlases and many other works such as his continuation of Gerard Mercator’s Atlas.

He suddenly passed away in February 1612. The publishing firm of Jodocus Hondius was continued by his widow; later on by his two sons Jodocus Jr., and Henricus, and by his son-in-law, J. Janssonius.

 

Jodocus Hondius II (1594-1629) & Henricus Hondius (1597-1651)

After the father’s death, the widow with her seven children continued publishing the atlases under the name of Jodocus Hondius till 1620. The firm was reinforced by the very welcome help of Joannes Janssonius (1588-1664), who married 24-year-old Elisabeth Hondius in 1612. After 1619 Mercator’s Atlas was published under the name of Henricus Hondius.

One of the most dramatic events in the early history of commercial cartography in Amsterdam was the sale of Jodocus Hondius Jr.’s copper-plates to Willem Jansz. Blaeu in 1629, the year of his death. At least 34 plates, from which Jodocus II had printed single-sheet maps for his own benefit, passed into the hands of his great competitor. Immediately after that, his brother, Henricus, and Joannes Janssonius ordered the engraving of identical plates.

During a long period, Henricus devoted all his energy to the publication of the Atlas. He saw its growth up to, and including, the fourth part in 1646; after that, his name does not figure any more on the title-pages. After 1638, the title of the Atlas was changed to Atlas Novus; it was mainly carried on by Joannes Janssonius.

The competition with the Blaeus dates from 1630. In 1630, Willem Janszoon (=Blaeu) made the first attack with his Atlantis Appendix. In 1635, Blaeu completed his Theatrum orbis terrarum in two volumes with texts in French, Latin, Dutch, and German, which prompted Henricus Hondius to speed up the enlargement of his Atlas.


The Janssonius Family

Joannes Janssonius (Arnhem, 1588-1664), son of the Arnhem publisher Jan Janssen, married Elisabeth Hondius, daughter of Jodocus Hondius, in Amsterdam in 1612. After his marriage, he settled down in this town as a bookseller and publisher of cartographic material. In 1618, he established himself in Amsterdam next door to Blaeu’s bookshop. He entered into serious competition with Willem Jansz. Blaeu when copying Blaeu’s Licht der Zeevaert after the expiration of the privilege in 1620. His activities concerned the publication of atlases, books, single maps, and an extensive book trade with branches in Frankfurt, Danzig, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Berlin, Koningsbergen, Geneva, and Lyon. In 1631, he began publishing atlases together with Henricus Hondius.

In the early 1640s, Henricus Hondius left the atlas publishing business to Janssonius. Competition with Joan Blaeu, Willem’s son and successor, in atlas production, prompted Janssonius to enlarge his Atlas Novus finally into a work of six volumes, into which a sea atlas and an atlas of the Old World were inserted. Other atlases published by Janssonius are Mercator’s Atlas Minor, Hornius’s historical atlas (1652), the townbooks in eight volumes (1657), Cellarius’s Atlas Coelestis and several sea atlases and pilot guides.

After the death of Joannes Janssonius, the shop and publishing firm were continued by the heirs under the direction of Johannes van Waesbergen (c. 1616-1681), son-in-law of Joannes Janssonius. Van Waesbergen added Janssonius's name to his own.

In 1676, Joannes Janssonius’s heirs sold by auction “all the remaining Atlases in Latin, French, High and Low German, as well as the Stedeboecken in Latin, in 8 volumes, bound and unbound, maps, plates belonging to the Atlas and Stedeboecken.” The copperplates from Janssonius’s atlases were afterwards sold to Schenk and Valck.

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Poli Arctici et Circumiacentium Terrarum Descriptio Novissima.

€2400  ($2592 / £2040)
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Item Number:  30055 Authenticity Guarantee

Category:  Antique maps > Europe > Northern Europe

Old, antique map of the North Pole, by Henricus Hondius.

Title: Poli Arctici et Circumiacentium Terrarum Descriptio Novissima.
Sumptibus Henrici Hondij.

Date of the first edition: 1636.
Date of this map: 1637

State 3 (of 7).

Gorgeous example of this decorative North Pole map.

Copper engraving, printed on paper.
Map size: 435 x 495mm (17.13 x 19.49 inches).
Sheet size: 485 x 555mm (19.09 x 21.85 inches).
Verso: German text.
Condition: Original coloured, reinforcements on the back: centrefold and lower centre. Small brown stain at the lower centre.
Condition Rating: A+

From: Gerardi Mercatoris et I. Hondii Newer Atlas oder Grosses Weltbuch Das ist Eine gantz newe ausführlich vermehrt, und verbesserte Abbildung, der gantzan Welt, ... Amsterdam, J. Janssonius, 1636.

With the many advances in knowledge of the Arctic waters in the first third of the century, the Gerard Mercator map of the North Pole, 1595, had become obsolete. In recognition of the English's prominent role in pursuing the North-West Passage, Hondius introduced a new polar map for the English edition of his atlas, 1636. 
Hondius drew upon the cartography of Henry Briggs, 1625, for the outline of Hudson Bay and supplemented it with the knowledge of the west coast from Thomas' map, 1633. However, he does correctly assume that Baffin Island is an island. Like many other cartographers before him, he is confused by the early English voyages depicting M Forbishers Streate in Greenland. Similar to the AMERICA SEPTENTRIONALIS of the same year, he incorporates a second cartouche left blank. Along the Atlantic coast of Labrador, we find for the first time much Dutch nomenclature, reflecting their increased whaling activities in these waters. It is also interesting that virtually all the earlier imaginary islands in the North Atlantic are now omitted. (Burden)


The Hondius Family

Jodocus Hondius the Elder (1563-1612)

Joost d’Hondt was born at Wakken (Flanders) in 1563. Two years later, his family settled down in Ghent, where young Joost displayed a great gift for drawing and calligraphy. By study and lessons, he developed his talents and became an engraver with a good reputation.

Due to the circumstances of war, he moved in 1584 to London where he settled down as an engraver, instrument-maker and map-maker. In 1587, he married Coletta van den Keere, sister of the well-known engraver, Pieter van den Keere (Petrus Kaerius); some years earlier his sister, Jacomina, had married Pieter van den Berghe (Petrus Montanus). Joost, who had latinized his name to Jodocus Hondius, closely co-operated with his two brothers-in-law.

The political situation in the Northern Netherlands in 1593 was such that Jodocus seemed to be justified in establishing himself in Amsterdam, where so many Antwerp printers, publishers, and engravers had gone. In this new centre of cartography, Jodocus Hondius set up his business “In de Wackere Hondt” (in the vigilant dog), this name being an allusion to his birthplace and name. Here he engraved many maps and published atlases and many other works such as his continuation of Gerard Mercator’s Atlas.

He suddenly passed away in February 1612. The publishing firm of Jodocus Hondius was continued by his widow; later on by his two sons Jodocus Jr., and Henricus, and by his son-in-law, J. Janssonius.

 

Jodocus Hondius II (1594-1629) & Henricus Hondius (1597-1651)

After the father’s death, the widow with her seven children continued publishing the atlases under the name of Jodocus Hondius till 1620. The firm was reinforced by the very welcome help of Joannes Janssonius (1588-1664), who married 24-year-old Elisabeth Hondius in 1612. After 1619 Mercator’s Atlas was published under the name of Henricus Hondius.

One of the most dramatic events in the early history of commercial cartography in Amsterdam was the sale of Jodocus Hondius Jr.’s copper-plates to Willem Jansz. Blaeu in 1629, the year of his death. At least 34 plates, from which Jodocus II had printed single-sheet maps for his own benefit, passed into the hands of his great competitor. Immediately after that, his brother, Henricus, and Joannes Janssonius ordered the engraving of identical plates.

During a long period, Henricus devoted all his energy to the publication of the Atlas. He saw its growth up to, and including, the fourth part in 1646; after that, his name does not figure any more on the title-pages. After 1638, the title of the Atlas was changed to Atlas Novus; it was mainly carried on by Joannes Janssonius.

The competition with the Blaeus dates from 1630. In 1630, Willem Janszoon (=Blaeu) made the first attack with his Atlantis Appendix. In 1635, Blaeu completed his Theatrum orbis terrarum in two volumes with texts in French, Latin, Dutch, and German, which prompted Henricus Hondius to speed up the enlargement of his Atlas.


The Janssonius Family

Joannes Janssonius (Arnhem, 1588-1664), son of the Arnhem publisher Jan Janssen, married Elisabeth Hondius, daughter of Jodocus Hondius, in Amsterdam in 1612. After his marriage, he settled down in this town as a bookseller and publisher of cartographic material. In 1618, he established himself in Amsterdam next door to Blaeu’s bookshop. He entered into serious competition with Willem Jansz. Blaeu when copying Blaeu’s Licht der Zeevaert after the expiration of the privilege in 1620. His activities concerned the publication of atlases, books, single maps, and an extensive book trade with branches in Frankfurt, Danzig, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Berlin, Koningsbergen, Geneva, and Lyon. In 1631, he began publishing atlases together with Henricus Hondius.

In the early 1640s, Henricus Hondius left the atlas publishing business to Janssonius. Competition with Joan Blaeu, Willem’s son and successor, in atlas production, prompted Janssonius to enlarge his Atlas Novus finally into a work of six volumes, into which a sea atlas and an atlas of the Old World were inserted. Other atlases published by Janssonius are Mercator’s Atlas Minor, Hornius’s historical atlas (1652), the townbooks in eight volumes (1657), Cellarius’s Atlas Coelestis and several sea atlases and pilot guides.

After the death of Joannes Janssonius, the shop and publishing firm were continued by the heirs under the direction of Johannes van Waesbergen (c. 1616-1681), son-in-law of Joannes Janssonius. Van Waesbergen added Janssonius's name to his own.

In 1676, Joannes Janssonius’s heirs sold by auction “all the remaining Atlases in Latin, French, High and Low German, as well as the Stedeboecken in Latin, in 8 volumes, bound and unbound, maps, plates belonging to the Atlas and Stedeboecken.” The copperplates from Janssonius’s atlases were afterwards sold to Schenk and Valck.

References: Van der Krogt 1 - p. 566, 0020:1B; Burden - p. 311-313, #246