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The Iberian Peninsula (Spain & Portugal), by Henricus Hondius.

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.


Hessel Gerritsz. (1580/81 – 1632)

Hessel Gerritsz. was one of the most influential and innovative map makers of the seventeenth century. He was born in Assum in North Holland and went to school in Alkmaar. He must have known Willem Jansz. (= Willem Blaeu) who stayed in Alkmaar for several years. Later he moved to Amsterdam for his further education.
After the closing of the Scheldt River, Amsterdam’s competitor was cut off, so that Amsterdam was able to take over the function of world trade centre. Flourishing Amsterdam offered plenty of work and exercised a great attraction for the craftsmen from the Southern Netherlands. The two dominating publishers in the cartographical field were Cornelis Claesz. and Jodocus Hondius both from the Southern Netherlands. Hessel Gerritsz. was trained in the graphic trade by David Vingboons, a painter and artist who also came from the Southern Netherlands.
After his apprenticeship with David Vingboons, Hessel Gerritsz. continued his schooling in the publishing house of Willem Jansz. (Blaeu). There he was able to perfect his etching style and was given the mathematical skills which would be so useful to him later, and he learnt the trade of mapmaking. Together with the engraver Josua van den Ende he was responsible for the engraving of the superb wall map of the Seventeen Provinces (1608). Van den Ende engraved the map image while Hessel Gerritsz. took care of the decorative borders and the decorations on the main map.
During his activities for Willem Jansz. Hessel Gerritsz. not only perfected his etching and engraving style but received the geographical and mathematical education which would stand him in good stead in later years. He could wish for no better cartographical school. Blaeu’s workshop was a sort of repository where geographical information from all parts of the world came together.
Hessel Gerritsz. married in 1607 to Geertje Gijsbertdr. One of his children, Gerrit, born in 1609, was to follow in his father’s footsteps. Shortly after his marriage, he established himself as an independent engraver, mapmaker and printer.
Hessel Gerritsz. regularly worked with Claes Jansz. Visscher as well. They co-operated for a long time.
His artistic talent comes to the fore in his map of the Leo Belgicus, depicting the Seventeen Provinces in the shape of a lion. This was seen as a symbol of the courage and persistence of the Dutch provinces in their resistance against Spanish tyranny.
In the years 1612-13 Hessel Gerritsz. was intensively busy with publications about Russia. In 1612, the influential booklet Beschryvinghe vander Samoyeden Landt appeared by him. The two chapters about Siberia were provided by Isaac Massa, who had lived in Moscow for nine years. With the aid of original Russian material Gerrritsz. was able to produce a series of three maps in folio format: a map of Russia and town plans of Moscow and the Kremlin. He also made a new important wall map of Lithuania and engraved it on four plates for Willem Blaeu. In the meantime, he also made a wall map and a folio map of Spain.
Next to these works undertaken on his initiative, Hessel Gerritsz. also accepted engraving and publishing tasks for third parties.
In 1617, Hessel Gerritsz. published a large wall map of Italy in six sheets. He gave his wall map an extra cachet by extending the map image with town views and costumed figures. The map was copied shortly after publication by Willem Blaeu. To protect himself against such plagiarism in the future, he requested a patent from the States-General. In January 1618, they granted him a general license in which amongst other things it was forbidden in any way to reproduce, copy or distribute his maps, both written or printed.
Hessel Gerritsz. was so highly regarded in 1617, that he received such an extraordinary privilege. He was appointed as instructor in geography for the Councillors of the Admiralty at Amsterdam and as mapmaker for the Chamber Amsterdam of the VOC. With both appointments, his old employer Willem Blaeu was passed over. In his function of mapmaker of the VOC, he was able to improve and expand the charts for the navigation to and from the Indies. The chart maker, of course, did not draw the charts needed for the VOC ships himself. He manufactured specific prototypes, the so-called leggers, (master charts) which served as models for copying work by his assistants in his house.

At the beginning of September 1632, Hessel Gerritsz. died at the age of 52. He must be considered one of the most comprehensive map makers of his time. “He was multi-disciplined in his method of working, integrating graphical technique and artistic expression in his scientific approach. Because of his mathematical talent, he was able to solve nautical problems and make proposals about them. His exceptional network – the interviews with pilots from the diverse companies, as well as his correspondence with persons at home and abroad – supplied him with a huge amount of geographical and nautical information that he used most efficiently. His good contacts with the families of the great merchants and ship owners and the representatives of the influential regents opened doors for him. He was, without doubt, the most informed person in geographical matters in Amsterdam of his time.” (Schilder)

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Typus Hispaniae ab Hesselo Gerardo delineata et juxta annotationes Doctiss. Dni. Don Andreae d'Almada S. Theologiae Publici Professoris apud Coimbricenses emendatus M.DC.XXXI. - Henricus Hondius - Hessel Gerritsz., 1641.

€650  ($767 / £598)
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Item Number:  26328
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > Spain and Portugal
References: Van der Krogt 1 - 6000H:1C.1

Old map of the Iberian Peninsula (Spain & Portugal), by Henricus Hondius.

Cartographer: Hessel Gerritsz

Date of the first edition: 1631
Date of this map: 1641

Copper engraving, printed on paper.
Size (not including margins): 36 x 49.5cm (14 x 19.3 inches)
Verso text: French
Condition: Original coloured, excellent.
Condition Rating: A+
References: Van der Krogt 1, 6000H:1C.1.

From: Nouveau Theatre du Monde ou Nouvel Atlas comprenant Les Tables et Descriptions de toutes les Regions de la Terre. Amsterdam, H. Hondius, 1641. (Van der Krogt 1, 412)

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.


Hessel Gerritsz. (1580/81 – 1632)

Hessel Gerritsz. was one of the most influential and innovative map makers of the seventeenth century. He was born in Assum in North Holland and went to school in Alkmaar. He must have known Willem Jansz. (= Willem Blaeu) who stayed in Alkmaar for several years. Later he moved to Amsterdam for his further education.
After the closing of the Scheldt River, Amsterdam’s competitor was cut off, so that Amsterdam was able to take over the function of world trade centre. Flourishing Amsterdam offered plenty of work and exercised a great attraction for the craftsmen from the Southern Netherlands. The two dominating publishers in the cartographical field were Cornelis Claesz. and Jodocus Hondius both from the Southern Netherlands. Hessel Gerritsz. was trained in the graphic trade by David Vingboons, a painter and artist who also came from the Southern Netherlands.
After his apprenticeship with David Vingboons, Hessel Gerritsz. continued his schooling in the publishing house of Willem Jansz. (Blaeu). There he was able to perfect his etching style and was given the mathematical skills which would be so useful to him later, and he learnt the trade of mapmaking. Together with the engraver Josua van den Ende he was responsible for the engraving of the superb wall map of the Seventeen Provinces (1608). Van den Ende engraved the map image while Hessel Gerritsz. took care of the decorative borders and the decorations on the main map.
During his activities for Willem Jansz. Hessel Gerritsz. not only perfected his etching and engraving style but received the geographical and mathematical education which would stand him in good stead in later years. He could wish for no better cartographical school. Blaeu’s workshop was a sort of repository where geographical information from all parts of the world came together.
Hessel Gerritsz. married in 1607 to Geertje Gijsbertdr. One of his children, Gerrit, born in 1609, was to follow in his father’s footsteps. Shortly after his marriage, he established himself as an independent engraver, mapmaker and printer.
Hessel Gerritsz. regularly worked with Claes Jansz. Visscher as well. They co-operated for a long time.
His artistic talent comes to the fore in his map of the Leo Belgicus, depicting the Seventeen Provinces in the shape of a lion. This was seen as a symbol of the courage and persistence of the Dutch provinces in their resistance against Spanish tyranny.
In the years 1612-13 Hessel Gerritsz. was intensively busy with publications about Russia. In 1612, the influential booklet Beschryvinghe vander Samoyeden Landt appeared by him. The two chapters about Siberia were provided by Isaac Massa, who had lived in Moscow for nine years. With the aid of original Russian material Gerrritsz. was able to produce a series of three maps in folio format: a map of Russia and town plans of Moscow and the Kremlin. He also made a new important wall map of Lithuania and engraved it on four plates for Willem Blaeu. In the meantime, he also made a wall map and a folio map of Spain.
Next to these works undertaken on his initiative, Hessel Gerritsz. also accepted engraving and publishing tasks for third parties.
In 1617, Hessel Gerritsz. published a large wall map of Italy in six sheets. He gave his wall map an extra cachet by extending the map image with town views and costumed figures. The map was copied shortly after publication by Willem Blaeu. To protect himself against such plagiarism in the future, he requested a patent from the States-General. In January 1618, they granted him a general license in which amongst other things it was forbidden in any way to reproduce, copy or distribute his maps, both written or printed.
Hessel Gerritsz. was so highly regarded in 1617, that he received such an extraordinary privilege. He was appointed as instructor in geography for the Councillors of the Admiralty at Amsterdam and as mapmaker for the Chamber Amsterdam of the VOC. With both appointments, his old employer Willem Blaeu was passed over. In his function of mapmaker of the VOC, he was able to improve and expand the charts for the navigation to and from the Indies. The chart maker, of course, did not draw the charts needed for the VOC ships himself. He manufactured specific prototypes, the so-called leggers, (master charts) which served as models for copying work by his assistants in his house.

At the beginning of September 1632, Hessel Gerritsz. died at the age of 52. He must be considered one of the most comprehensive map makers of his time. “He was multi-disciplined in his method of working, integrating graphical technique and artistic expression in his scientific approach. Because of his mathematical talent, he was able to solve nautical problems and make proposals about them. His exceptional network – the interviews with pilots from the diverse companies, as well as his correspondence with persons at home and abroad – supplied him with a huge amount of geographical and nautical information that he used most efficiently. His good contacts with the families of the great merchants and ship owners and the representatives of the influential regents opened doors for him. He was, without doubt, the most informed person in geographical matters in Amsterdam of his time.” (Schilder)

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