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Description

Extremely rare early double hemisphere world map and portrait of the explorer Thomas Cavendish, celebrating his circumnavigation of the World (1586-1588).

The map is very similar to Hondius' rare portrait of Sir Francis Drake, illustrated by Shirley (p.209). The map shows Cavendish's route around the globe. We have located two similar portraits, one in the Collection of Engravings Formed Between the Years 1860-68 By Alfred Morrison, which Morrison attribute to Hondius. The double hemisphere map and portrait essentially the same, except that Morrison describes Cavendish's left hand as being on the globe (our example has the right hand on the globe). The portraits of Drake and Cavendish were likely originally engraved as parto of the rare side panels for Hondius' Vera Totius Expeditionis Nauticae of c1595 (Shirely 188), of which only 8 examples are known, only some of which include the side panels. Theodor de Bry did similar portraits of Drake and Van Noordt, although Shirley does not reference another use of the Cavenish portrait and map.

The earliest recorded example of s similar portrait and world map pairing is in the upper left corner of Cornelis Claesz' 1601 Wall Map of the World, celebrating Olivier Van Noort's circumnavigation of 1598-1601. No example of the original is known, although the map survives in 2 examples of the second edition, published by Claesz Janszoon Visscher in 1650. The portrait in this example is somewhat smaller and lacks the text below the world map.

Jonathan Potter listed a portrait and map with a similar title in his Catalogue 10, item 24 (1995). Potter listed the portrait and map as anonymous and our attribution of the engraving to Hondius is based upon Morrison, although it is certainly possible that this is an unrecorded later version of the engraving referenced by Morrison.

Jodocus Hondius Biography

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.