7 June 2006
MERCATOR, Gerard (1512-1594) and Henricus HONDIUS (1597-1651). Atlas ou representation du Monde Universel ... divise en deux tomes. Amsterdam: Henricus Hondius, 1633.
2 volumes, 2° (470 x 290mm). Text in French. Half-title, two hand-coloured engraved titles, double-page portrait of Mercator and Hondius, seated with globes, 239 hand-coloured double-page engraved maps. (Occasional light spotting, map of Germany shaved at outer margins, without section titles.) Modern red morocco in a 17th-century style, panelled in gilt, spine gilt in six sections, gilt morocco lettering-pieces, red speckled edges, gilt turn-ins; morocco-backed cloth boxes, gilt morocco lettering-pieces.
A FINE COPY OF THE LARGEST OF THE MERCATOR-HONDIUS ATLASES, attractively coloured by a contemporary hand. Henricus began his career helping his mother and brother Jodocus in the family business from 1619, but in 1621 he started up his own map firm on the Dam, returning again to assist his mother in 1629 on the death of his brother, and after 1633 he worked in partnership with his brother-in-law, Johannes Jansson. This atlas can be seen as an attempt to regain the family supremacy in the Amsterdam map-making business in the 1630s, particularly as competition from the Blaeu family increased; unfortunately by the mid-1640s, the Blaeus had gained the upper hand, and the Mercator-Hondius-Jansson atlas series ceased. Koeman (Van der Krogt) 1:311.1 and 1:311.2. (2)
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