Amsterdam International Antiquarian Book & Map Fair

Selected Highlights


Asher Rare Books
Tuurdijk 16
3997 MS 't Goy - Houten
The Netherlands


Julius W. Steiner


+31-30-6011955 +31-30-6011955



MERCATOR, Gerard and Henricus HONDIUS. Atlas sive cosmographicae meditationes de fabrica mundi et fabricati figura. ... Editio decima. [Amsterdam], heirs of Henricus Hondius, 1630. Folio (47 x 34 cm). With engraved title-page, engraved double-page portrait of Mercator and Hondius; 4 engraved divisional title-pages, 164 engraved maps (almost all double-page) and many woodcut initials and tailpieces, all fully coloured by a contemporary hand, with some occasional details highlighted with gum arabic, and with the title-pages with some text and details highlighted in gold. All maps with letterpress texts on the back. 18th-century gold- and blind-tooled calf, gilt edges.

Contemporary coloured copy of the final Hondius edition of the Mercator atlas, the greatest atlas of all time. The Mercator atlas was the first to bear the name Atlas and it set the standard for all to come, surely no atlas has ever been so influential. Although Ortelius's 1570 "atlas" helped to establish many of the modern conventions for atlases, Mercator (1512-1594) took further steps. Moreover, Ortelius borrowed and adapted his maps from existing ones, while Mercator's were entirely new. In 1630, the year of the present edition, it was still the most significant geographical work of its time. However, this was also the year that Blaeu would introduce his grand atlas.
The present edition includes nine new maps, which weren't included in the previous edition of 1623. It opens with a dedication to the Dutch States General, some laudatory poems, and the Biblical story of the creation of Earth. Following are the maps, opening with a world map, two maps of Europe, and a map of Africa, Asia, America and the North Pole. Following are maps of northern Europe (Iceland, Ireland, the United Kingdom, England, Scotland, Wales, Norway, Denmark, Northern Gemany, the Baltics, Russia) and southern Europe (Spain, Portugal), the majority with several maps for specific areas of provinces. It is followed by maps of France (including Switzerland), the Low Countries, Germany (including Austria, Hungary and Poland) and Italy (including Croatia, Servia, Bulgaria, Greece, etc.), each with its own divisional title-page. The atlas closes with maps of Africa (Morocco, Ethiopia, the gold coast), Asia (Ottoman Empire, Turkey, Persia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Ceylon) and America (South America, the Caribbean islands, Florida). Included at the end is an index.
With the initials of count Carl von Schaffgotsch on an endleaf. Title-page restored at the foot and fore-edge margins, affecting the engraving and especially the impressum, with the lacking text and small part of the illustration provided in manuscript, te following three leaves also with marginal restorations; double-portrait with a small restoration at the gutter, just touching the illustration; and some and more minor restorations throughout, mostly in the margins. One map (Tabula III Hollandiae) with a large piece torn off in the lower margin, restored, but with some loss of the engraving, not affecting the letterpress text on the back. The restorations to the title-page show that the colouring must be made well before the 18th-century endleaves and binding, which are in very good condition. Except for the one map noted, all others are in very good condition. An attractively coloured copy of the famous Mercator-Hondius atlas.

[22], 391, [35], [1 blank] pp. Keuning, "The history of an atlas", in: Imago Mundi IV, pp. 37-62; Koeman Me 29B; V.d. Krogt, Koeman's Atlantes Neerlandici I, 1:107; for Carl von Schaffgotsch: Emil Starkenstein, "Ein neuentdecktes Blass des Psalters von 1549" in: Gutenberg Jahrbuch XIV (1939), pp. 118-120.
Exhibitor: Asher Rare Books

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Amstelodami Celeberrimi Hollandiae Emporii Delineatio Nova, Johannes Blaeu, 1649


Stichting Europese Antiquarenbeurs, 2019
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