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The Mapping of North America

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HONDIUS, Jodocus

Insulae Indiae Orientalis Praecipuae

Amsterdam, 1606-[07]
350 x 480 mm., early wash colour with Latin text, with small area of reinstatement in the middle of the centrefold, otherwise in good condition.
One of the most desirable of the maps by Jodocus Hondius, a good example in early wash colour. When Jodocus Hondius acquired the plates to Gerard Mercator’s atlas in 1604 he engraved a number of new plates before he issued his own edition in 1606. The map extends from South East Asia to New Guinea and takes in the whole of the East Indies. The region was rapidly becoming of great significance to European powers as a rich source of wealth largely derived from spices. This is represented by a naval engagement between the Dutch and the Portuguese for control of the region. The Portuguese had arrived early but in 1602 the Dutch formed the East India Company and rapidly grew its influence in the area.

Hondius drew on the portolan charts of the Portuguese cartographer Bartolomeo Lasso for his map. However he also added information of his own. Whilst in London as a religious refugee in the 1583-c.93 he undoubtedly became aware of the circumnavigation of Sir Francis Drake in 1577-80. His presence in the East Indies is noted on the map on the south coast of Java ‘Huc Franciscus Dra. Appulit’. Indeed this is one of the very few maps of the region to record Drake’s presence. He was the first European known to have landed on the on the southern coast of Java. Suarez describes how the indented eastern coastline of Sulawesi reflects the fact that Drake ran aground in this region. The Philippines are prominent in the upper centre and Singapore is here noted on the Malacca Peninsula.

The map includes three ornate strapwork cartouches, two compass roses, rhumb lines and a sea monster. One of the cartouches records a list of islands and the goods found there. Koeman Me 26a; Suarez pp. 193-6 illustrated; Van der Krogt 1:102.138, 8500:1A.
Stock number: 8719

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