Clive A. Burden LTD. Rare Maps, Antique Atlases, Books and Decorative Prints

The Mapping of North America

Mr. Philip D. Burden​
P.O. Box 863,
Chalfont St. Giles, Bucks HP6 9HD,
Tel: +44 (0) 1494 76 33 13

A lovely example of this classic decorative map. The only regional map of North America to be included in the first edition of Jodocus Hondius’ first edition of Gerard Mercator’s atlas. ‘It is a composite largely of John White’s Virginia and Jacques le Moyne’s Florida as interpreted by Theodore de Bry in 1590 and 1591 respectively. ‘Chesepioock Sinus’ representing Chesapeake Bay is still shown in its White delineation. At the end of this year, 1606, a party of Englishmen left England to begin arguably the most important colonisation of North America in this very bay, at Jamestown. Within just a few years the entire region would be completely revised cartographically. The area south towards ‘C.S.Romano Hispanis’ is entirely drawn from White. It is, however, given too much latitude, extending as far as 322o, some 2o too far. ‘S.Augustine’, however, is shown at the correct latitude. The combined effect is a compacted coastline for the present-day States of Georgia and South Carolina.

The area of French ‘Floridæ’ originally comes from de Bry’s map ‘Floridae Americae Provinciae’ of 1591. Here a new interpretation of the cartography had made this map notable; however, the author has noted that it actually first appeared on the wall map of America by Cornelis Claesz, c.1602. The new rendition of le Moyne’s geography is caused by the great lake which is moved from central Florida north so that the ‘ May’ (St. John’s River) now flows in a south-easterly direction. It was probably encouraged by the depiction on a number of maps of a similarly flowing large ‘R.Secco’ like that on the ‘FLORIDA et APALCHE’, by Cornelis Wytfliet of 1597. Its influence was considerable. Taken up by Hondius, this error was popularised by the major success of his atlas and lasted for some seventy years. According to Cumming some place names appear from other sources, namely that of Jean Ribaut. In the ‘Apalatcy’ Mountians references are made to the presence of both gold and silver. The map is embellished with various game including a wild turkey. Examples of Indian villages in Florida and Virginia appear in cartouches either side of the title. The map’s scale and decorativeness make it very sought after’ (Burden). Burden 151; Cumming no. 26.

HONDIUS, Jodocus

Virginiae item et Floridae Americæ Provinciarum, novæ Descriptio

Amsterdam, 1606-[19]
350 x 490 mm., early wash colour with French text, in good condition.
Stock number: 9123
$ 3,500
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