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Description

The First State of the First Dutch Map of Virginia. In Original Color!

Excellent example of the first state of Jodocus Hondius II's map of Virginia and the Chesapeake region, based upon Captain John Smith's map of Virginia, the most important map of Virginia published in the 17th century.

This is the first of the so-called Smith derivatives, having been engraved by Dirk Grijp for Jodocus Hondius II in 1618. Smith's map was first issued in Oxford in 1612, but it did not see widespread publication until after the present Hondius map was made. Smith's original map would not appear again until 1624, when it was included, along with Smith's map of New England, in his landmark work, The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles. The following year it was included in Purchas His Pilgrimes.

Following Hondius II's death in 1629, the copperplate was purchased by Blaeu, after which the map was modified and became the famous "Blaeu" map of Virginia. Because of the commercial success of Blaeu's atlases, it is this map of Virginia that influenced two generations of European mapmakers and boosted the importance of Smith's mapping and discoveries in the region. It was the primary influence on other maps of the period and the standard map of the region until Augustine Hermanns map of 1673.

In 1606, the London Company sent its first ship to Virginia and established the Jamestown settlement. Captain John Smith accompanied the English settlers at Jamestown. Between 1607 and 1609, he explored the major rivers which flowed west into the Chesapeake Bay, recording the names of the Native American villages and tribes he encountered. The limits of Smith's explorations are marked with a Maltese cross, which Blaeu incorporates on his map and can typically be seen at the upper part of each of the rivers depicted on Blaeu's map. Beyond the crosses, Smith relied on Native American accounts to delineate territories further upriver. Smith notes on the map "To the crosses hath bin discouerd what beyond is by relation."

Jodocus Hondius II and the John Smith

Jodocus Hondius the Elder had become acquainted with Smith's earliest mapping of Virginia in 1609 when the latter sent Henry Hudson a manuscript map and letter depicting his "discoveries" in Virginia. The map that Smith sent Hudson, and which Hondius added to his archives, differed substantially from the one that would become famous after 1612; it showed a large inland sea and potential access to the Pacific Ocean. Hondius the Elder apparently did little with that map, but his son, Jodocus Hondius II, used it in several globes and a large world map, while at the same printing this map. It remains a mystery as to why Jodocus Hondius II was including the pre-1609 Smith mapping in some cases while using the 1612 Smith mapping in others. See our write-up of these Hondius globes for more information on this subject.

A cornerstone map for collectors of this region.

Rarity

The map is very rare on the market.  The last appearance in a dealer catalog was Jonathan Potter, Catalog 325 (2002), Item #242 ($11,200).  This is the second example of the map we have offered in over 25 years and the first in original hand-color.

Condition Description
Original hand-color. Small amounts of abrasion around the bottom of the centerfold and in the upper right corner. Minor stain in the explanation. Minor marginal soiling.
Reference
Burden 193.