Highly important map of the World, which is the earliest obtainable map on the Postel Projection (pre-dating De Jode's World Map) and quite probably the earliest copper engraved map of the World published in England and the first map published by Hondius.
This remarkable circular map depicts a north polar azimuthal equidistant projection extending to the equator. The Postel Projection is named after the French mathematician Guillaume Postel (1510-1581). The engraving of the map is traditionally attributed to William Rogers, and, if true, then the map is arguably the earliest English world map engraved on copper. However, Shirley thinks that it might have been engraved by Hondius himself, while living in London. If this is the case, then the map ranks among the earliest engraved works of the master mapmaker. There is some dispute as to whether Hondius himself was ever resident in London (indeed, some credence to this theory may be given by the fact that Hugh Broughton, the author of the book in which this map appears) was in Amsterdam shortly before the book's publication, but what is known is that the map is a technical masterpiece of engraving, the earliest obtainable Postel projection of the world and one of the most important early English maps.
The map was printed to appear in A concent of scripture, by Hugh Broughton. [Imprinted at London [By Richard Watkins] for Gabriell Simson and William White, [between 1587 and 1591].
While the book appears occasionally on the market, the World map is virtually always lacking. The last recorded example of the book offered with the map in a dealer catalogue is the Fall 1980 Nico Israel Catalogue and prior to that, the Maggs Catalogue of 1924. The Nico Israel Catalogue refers to the map as "THE RARE CIRCULAR MAP of the Northern Hemisphere in Polar Projection, in all probability after the cartographical design of Jodocus Hondius: this map is often lacking and erroneously described as "added." (No. 89, Illustrated at page 96).
Hugh Broughton (1549-1612), English scholar and divine, gained recognition as a learned, though controversial, expositor of the Bible with this, his first book, which states dogmatically that holy scripture contains all truth. Nowadays, however, the commercial value of the book resides in the present map and a reduced version of Ortelius' oval world map of 1570 (not present here), which are both frequently lacking. No copies of the book with the folding map have appeared at auction since 1977.
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.