Exceedingly rare map of America, the Pacific Ocean, Japan, New Guinea and the mythical Terra Australis, bearing the imprint of Jodocus Hondius (the elder) and dated 1589 and 1602.
Includes a near continuous watercourse from the St. Lawrence to the Rio Grande, which flows into the Mar Vermeio (Gulf of California). Cibola is mentioned, as are Totonteac and a number of early California place names, extending to Quivira and Grandes Corientes, north of C. de Mendocino. On the East Coast, Norumbega, Nova Francia, Canada, Port Royal, C. de S. Helena, La Florida and Sorrochoe appear, along with numerous Indian names in the interior. Notably absent is any sign of the discoveries shown in the maps of Le Moyne and White in the Southeastern US, which is one of the first of many clues leading to the conclusion that the map was quite likely first issued in 1589. The mythical islands of Brasil and S. Brendan appear, along with Frislant. Bermuda is also shown. The map is richly embellished with numerous ships and sea creatures.
This separately published map has been the subject of much speculation regarding its history. As discussed by Burden, the great mystery is whether the map was engraved and published in 1589, during Hondius' stay in London or during his later residence in Amsterdam. While the map is dated 1589 in the cartouche, the only known state of the map bears the imprint I. Le Clerc excu. 1602. The map is part of a set of four continents, but is the only one of the four to bear the date of 1589. The cartography of America significantly pre-dates 1602, and is consistent with Hondius' world map of 1595 and his wall map of America of 1598, although these maps include the discoveries of Drake and Cavendish, which are absent from this map. Burden further notes that the treatment of Japan and Greenland date to an earlier period, as does Hondius' classic Flemish engraving style and embellishments. Similarly recent discoveries in Canada and the Straits of Magellan are omitted.
Burden notes that the map bears a striking resemblance to Hondius' small world map of 1589. The map is full of other clues which would strongly suggest the earlier date. The appearance of Port Royal on the map would make it the earliest appearance of this place name on a map, predating De Bry in 1591. It is worth noting that no reference to Virginia appears. Given the available knowledge in London in 1589 regarding the failed English Colony, this is a curious omission. If the map dates from 1589, Burden notes that it must be examined in the context of maps of the Pacific by Hogenberg, Mazza, and Ortelius, all published in the same time period. Burden notes similarities in the four maps, but observes that it is not possible to determine which would predate the other, based upon the information present. While the primacy issue and whether an earlier undiscovered 1589 edition may exist, the map's rarity is beyond question.
Burden noted only 2 known examples in private US collections and no known examples in any American institutional collection. The present example bears the signature of American Architect Whitney Warren (1864-1943), who with partner Charles D. Wetmore designed a number of landmark hotels and office buildings in New York City, including the Grand Central Terminal (1903-13), the New York Central office building, the Chelsea docks, and the Ritz-Carlton, Biltmore, Commodore, and Ambassador hotels. After World War I, Warren & Wetmore were entrusted with the reconstruction of the historic library of the University of Louvain in Belgium, which had been destroyed during the war.
Jodocus Hondius the Elder (1563-1612), or Joost de Hondt, was one of the most prominent geographers and engravers of his time. His work did much to establish Amsterdam as the center of cartographic publishing in the seventeenth century. Born in Wakken but raised in Ghent, the young Jodocus worked as an engraver, instrument maker, and globe maker.
Hondius moved to London in 1584, fleeing religious persecution in Flanders. There, he worked for Richard Hakluyt and Edward Wright, among others. Hondius also engraved the globe gores for Emery Molyneux’s pair of globes in 1592; Wright plotted the coastlines. His engraving and nautical painting skills introduced him to an elite group of geographic knowledge seekers and producers, including the navigators Drake, Thomas Cavendish, and Walter Raleigh, as well as engravers like Theodor De Bry and Augustine Ryther. This network gave Hondius access to manuscript charts and descriptions which he then translated into engraved maps.
In 1593 Hondius returned to Amsterdam, where he lived for the rest of his life. Hondius worked in partnership with Cornelis Claesz, a publisher, and maintained his ties to contacts in Europe and England. For example, from 1605 to 1610, Hondius engraved the plates for John Speed’s Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine.
One of Hondius’ most successful commercial ventures was the reprinting of Mercator’s atlas. When he acquired the Mercator plates, he added 36 maps, many engraved by him, and released the atlas under Mercator’s name, helping to solidify Mercator’s reputation posthumously. Hondius died in 1612, at only 48 years of age, after which time his son of the same name and another son, Henricus, took over the business, including the reissuing of the Mercator atlas. After 1633, Hondius the Elder’s son-in-law, Johannes Janssonius, was also listed as a co-publisher for the atlas.
Jean Le Clerc was an engraver, bookseller and publisher in Paris and Tours. Le Clerc may have worked with Maurice Bouguereau in the production of the Theatre Francois in 1594, as he subsequently used the plates to republish the Atlas in 1620 under the title Theatre Geographique du Royaume de France. In addition to the maps of France, the atlas included a World Map, originally engraved by Jodocus Hondius in 1608 copied from Mercator's twin hemisphere map of 1595. He also issued in 1602 maps of Africa, America, Asia and Europe, engraved by Jodocus Hondius. The map of America, which is dated 1589, but unknown in any editions earlier than the one issued by Le Clerc in 1602, is a map of considerable rarity, which some believe may pre-date Ortelius’ Maris Pacifici as the first printed map to focus on the Pacific Ocean.