The First Edition of the Landmark Atlas That Sealed the Mercator-Hondius-Jansson Legacy as the Most Visionary of the Great Dutch Publishing Houses. In Fine Full Original Color and Publisher's Vellum Bindings.
Complete Latin three-volume first edition of Jansson and Hondius's Atlas Novus, the first great product of the Jansson-Blaeu rivalry and the first look at the Jansson magnum opus. Produced between 1636 and 1638 by the Jansson-Hondius partnership in Amsterdam, this book of the utmost rarity is one of the great works of the Dutch Golden Age of cartography.
This stunning book contains 316 maps, including Jansson and Hondius's world maps and polar maps, as well as a number of American maps that appear for the first time in this volume including the Hondius-Jansson North America. The remit of the atlas is broad: every known part of the world has regional maps, including the eastern United States, the Caribbean, and the East Indies, with additional European maps that show small localities in impressive detail. These maps are exemplary of the Dutch Golden Age, in their engraving, their design, the decoration, and their geography. Supplementing the maps are allegorical title pages filled with marvelously colored features and pages of Latin text to describe the maps.
In order to fit these maps into a wider work that covered not only geography, but also astronomy, maritime navigation, and history, Jansson used the opportunity afforded in producing a new atlas to reorder the traditional Mercator-Hondius opus. While these earlier works had quite rigid structures that had seen little deviation, Jansson subdivides this atlas as follows:
- Volume 1 opens with a preface and introduction followed by three global and polar maps that afford the reader a chance to orient themselves, before providing detailed regional maps of Europe.
- Volume 2 builds on the European geography of Volume 1 by providing definitive sub-regional (e.g., county-level) maps of France, Germany, the Low Countries, and Spain.
- Volume 3 provides the aforementioned level of detail for Italy before moving to Africa, East Asia, the Middle East, the East Indies, and the Americas.
Produced against the backdrop of rising domestic competition, Volume 3 was the first of these volumes produced, appearing in 1636. It is the volume that contains the newest maps (eleven), and most of its maps were reissued in 1637 as the final upgraded appendix for the Mercator-Hondius atlas. The remaining volumes (1 and 2) appeared in 1638, with seven and five new maps, respectively. Between then and 1666, these three core volumes were reissued further in Latin and in German, French, Spanish, and Dutch translations, although all are of the utmost rarity today. Additional volumes were added, first in Latin but some were also reissued in other languages, including English. By the end of Jansson's life, he had reached eleven volumes for the Atlas Novus, completing Mercator's vision.
An Atlas to Cover All Known Cosmographies.
The story of the Atlas Novus begins some seventy years before its publication, with the work of Gerard Mercator, a scholar in Duisburg, Germany. Mercator's early maps, globes, and texts dating from the 1540s were popular and allowed him to cement his place as a leading European intellectual in the collation and dissemination of knowledge, primarily, but not exclusively geographical. By the 1560s, Mercator is had formulated an idea to produce a single work that compiled all of his previous research, that is, "a project for a complete description of the Creation, Heavens, Earth, Sea, and world history" (Koeman). However, Mercator's ill health, desire for original maps (contrary to Ortelius), and the limited cartography of the era slowed his desire.
As such, Mercator was limited to producing maps of northern Europe and France, as well as some additional world maps and regional maps. In 1595, Mercator's Atlas (the first to use such a word in its title) was completed posthumously by Mercator's son Rumold. However, the atlas was not as widely disseminated or wildly popular until 1604, when the plates were sold to the Hondius family. Over the next thirty years, the Hondius family reissued Mercator's Atlas, adding new maps and updating outdated ones, however, the great innovative leap that Mercator envisioned languished.
Jan Jansson, who had married into the Hondius family in 1612, was the heir to the firm that would eventually seek to complete Mercator's original goal. By the 1630s, it became apparent that while Mercator was still very popular, the threat of the growing Blaeu publishing house needed to be counteracted. Jansson embraced this as the right time to revisit the idea of an atlas that would cover all known cosmographies.
The first edition of the Atlas Novus, here presented, was issued between 1636 and 1638 in three volumes that summarized the geographies produced by the Mercator-Hondius family, with new cartography to patch any holes. From here Jansson next expanded the atlas with an atlas of the English counties, appearing in 1646, and a sea atlas, appearing in 1650 (which is known as the first true sea atlas). Completing his geographical goal, Jansson became even more creative and dedicated to his far-reaching goal: he published a town atlas as well several historical atlases that compiled maps of the ancient world. By now needing a proper name, the Atlas Novus became the Atlas Maior. Intent on publishing up until his death, Jansson completed the project with an eleventh volume, Cellarius's Harmonia Macrocosmica. Mercator's project was complete, and Jansson had produced some of the most important and highly regarded works of the Dutch Golden Age of Cartography.
The Jansson-Blaeu Rivalry
The publication of the Atlas Novus cannot be discussed without its competitors produced by the Blaeu publishing house that forced Jansson to produce ever more important and vast editions. William Janszoon Blaeu had established himself as a leading Amsterdam provider of wall maps, globes, and navigational pilots, but he established himself as an existential threat to the Hondius-Jansson enterprise in 1629 when he acquired forty plates after the death of Jodocus Hondius. Blaeu immediately issued these plates, alongside twenty that he engraved, in 1630 as an Atlas Appendix, an addendum for Mercator's Atlas that was an attempt to establish himself as the great man's heir.
The loss of forty important plates and the issuance of the first serious competition to the Mercator-Hondius atlas was a shock to the Jansson-Hondius partnership. They immediately commissioned Evert Hamersvelt and Salomon Rogiers to engrave thirty-six replacement plates, which they used in an eighty-plate Appendix, issued in the same year as Blaeu's. Competition between the two increased rapidly, but Hondius and Jansson had a head start in the plates that they had kept, and thus attempted to reissue the Mercator in improved editions to maintain their lead over Blaeu.
The 1635 appearance of a roughly 160 map atlas by Blaeu must have shown the Jansson firm that simple reissues of the classic atlases would not suffice to let them keep the lead. Rather, they needed a new format for an atlas, one that could easily incorporate an ever-growing stock of maps. The Atlas Novus was born, and it served as the flagship product of the Jansson firm in competition with Blaeu. With regularity, both firms updated their atlases to comprise ever more expansive concepts and more maps.
Eventually, the Blaeu firm won the war of maps, with their Atlas Maior becoming the largest atlas ever produced. However, Jansson's firm had focused on expanding the scope of topics covered, with classical history and cosmography also covered in their atlas. As such, these two books born out of competition, the Atlas Maior and the Atlas Novus, serve as complements to each other.
New Maps Included in the Atlas Novus
As stated before, a total of twenty-three new maps were engraved for this work: seven for the first volume; five for the second; and eleven for the third. The first volume updates the general European map, as well as introduces several Scandinavian and Polish maps, in the second volume, obsolete maps of Spain are replaced. Of most interest are the new maps introduced in the third volume, which include the following:
Called by Burden "the single most influential map in perpetuating the myth of California as an island," this magnificent depiction of North America is the first atlas map to focus exclusively on North America. Although California is a prominent feature, it certainly is not the only interesting aspect of this map. A Rio del Norte flows from a large lake in the continent's interior. On the eastern seaboard of North America, one can spot Iames Towne, the still-nascent English settlement.
Americae Pars Meridionalis
One of the earliest separate maps of South America, this map is highly decorative, with a number of vignettes showing native scenes, animals, canoes, and huts. The map again shows a number of American myths, including Parime lacus, a reference to the El Dorado myth.
This fine map shows the extent of the Ottoman Empire at its peak, with a focus on the Middle East. This map is notable for its coloring, with a fantastic representation of a sultan shown in the lower left. This exemplary coloring is repeated throughout the book, with attention paid to details and flourishes undertaken.
India quae Orientalis dicitur, et Insulae Adiacentes
Based upon Blaeu's map of 1635 and showcasing the rivalry between the two firms, it shows some of the earliest Dutch encounters with New Guinea and northern Australia. It is one of the first to do so and only the second map with such information is widely distributed.
Magni Mogolis Imperium
This revolutionary map embraces the entire Mughal Empire and extends from Afghanistan and Kashmir in the north, down south to the middle of the Deccan and from the mouths of the Indus in the east, to Burma in the west. While far from scientific and featuring some obvious inaccuracies (notably, areas in the upper part of the map are placed way too far to the north), it is the first map of northern India to evince a rough level of planimetric accuracy. This map was based on William Baffin's map that appeared in Purchas his Pilgrimes.
The last example we trace of a first edition Jansson Atlas Novus trading on the market was in 1988, sold at Christie's in London. This example has the same collation except for three later maps added to the first volume. Later editions of the first three volumes have appeared on the market only three times since then, a testament to the book's rarity.
A census of the known copies of the first edition by Koeman includes the following: University Library, Utrecht; Harvard; J. Carter Brown Library; B.U. Warsaw; PAN Gdansk; Z.B. ZUrich; K.B. Aaru; Leningrad (St. Petersburg); and N. B. Wien. These is five fewer examples than are known of the first state of the Ortelius 1570A Theatrum, itself a collector's rarity.
Atlas novus, Sive Descriptio Geographica Totius Orbis Terrarum, Tabulis aeneis luculentissimis & accuratissimis exornata, Tribus Tomis Distinctus. Amstelodami Apud Henricum Hondium, & Ioannem Ianssonium 1638.
Schilder's 1638B, with the authors reversed from Ioannem Ianssonium & Henricum Hondium, although there is no clear claim to primacy. Title page reuses the 1633 Mercator-Hondius-Jansson Atlas Ou Representation with text and authorship overpasted on a slip. Title page shows the peoples of the world with the flags of Europe, and overlooked by the cosmos. The global and universal scope of this title page represents the extensive desire of this lineage of atlasses, since the days of Mercator, to cover all known geographies. The text follows with a three page Praefatio and a seven page Introducto.
- Nova Totius Terrarum Orbis Geographica
- De Navigatione Cum Veterum tum Novorum.
- Poli Arctici.
- Europam sive Celticam Veterem, sic describere conabar Abrahamus Ortelius.
- Europa Exactissime Descripta Auctore.
- Insularum Britannicarum Acurata Delineatio.
- Mangnae Britanniae et Hiberniae Tabula.
- Hiberniae II Tabula, In qua Ultonia, cum reliquis regiunculis.
- [Northern Ireland]
- Ultoniae Orientalis Pars.
- Hiberniae Pars Australis.
- Udrone Irlandiae. This map overpasted onto Hiberniae Pars Australis.
- Scotia Regnum.
- Scotiae pars Septentrionalis.
- Orcadum et Schetlandiae Insularum accuratissima descriptio.
- [South Scotland]
- A New Description of the SHyres Lothian and Linlitquo.
- Anglia Regnum.
- Northumbria, Cumberlandia, Et Dunelmensis Episcopatus.
- Westmorlandia Lancastria.
- Cambriae Typus.
- Eboracum, Lincolnia.
- Cornubia, evonia.
- Warwicum Northamtonia Huntingdonia.
- Descriptio inundatae regionis The Fenns appellatae, sitae in Angliae conterminae Comitatibus vel Shires.
- Angelesey. . .
- Totius Daniae nova Descriptio.
- Iutia Septentrionalis.
- Fioniae Nova et Acurata Descriptio
- Ducatus Holsatiae Nova Tabula.
- Sueciae, Norvegiae, Et Daniae, Nova Tabula.
- Nova et accurata Tabula Episcopatum Stavangriensis.
- Nova Totius Livoniae.
- Novissima Russiae Tabula.
- Moscoviae Pars Australis.
- Taurica Chersonesus.
- Magni Ducatus Lithuaniae.
- Germaniae Veteris.
- Germaniae nova et accurata delineatio.
- Saxonia Inferior et Mekleborg Duc.
- Novilis Fluvius Albis.
- Ducatus Luneburgensis.
- Meklenburg Ducatus.
- Nova Illustrissimi Ducatus Pomeraniae.
- Nova Famigerabilis Insulae Ac Ducatus Rugiae.
- Brandeburgum Marchionatus.
- Saxoniae Superioris.
- Comitatus Mansfeldiae Descriptio.
- Thuringiae Nova Descriptio.
- Braunswyck Et Meydburg cum terris adjacentibus.
- Episcopatus Hildesiensis.
- Nova Totius Westphalia Descritio [Title is different to that in the Utrecht edition, which reads: Totius Circuli Wetphalici Accurata descriptio, according to Schilder.]
- Niewe Caerte waerinne vertoont wordt.
- Typus Frisiae Orientalis.
- Oldenburg COmitatus.
- Osnabrugensis Episcopatus.
- Monasteriensis Episcopatus.
- Comitatus Bentheimensis.
- Episcopatus Paderbornensis.
- De Hertochdoen Gulick Cleve Berghe.
- Clivia Ducatus.
- Berge Ducatus Marck Comitatus.
- Iuliacensis Ducatus
- Dioecesis Leodiensis Accurata.
- Coloniensis Archiepiscopatus.
- Rhenus. Folding map.
- Westphalia Ducatus.
- Waldeck Comitatus.
- Archiepiscopatus Trevirensis Descriptio nova.
- Nassovia Comitatus.
- Hassia Landgraviatus.
- Abbatia Heresfeldensis.
- Totius Franconiae Nova Descriptio.
- Comitatus Wertheimici.
- Territorium Francofurtense.
- Nova Descriptio Palatinatus Rhei.
- Erpach Coitatus.
- Alsatia inferior.
- Territorium Argentoratense.
- Alsatia Superior cum Suntgoia et Brisgoia.
- Territory Basiliensis Nova Descriptio.
- Wirtenberg Ducatus.
- Daniumius, Fluvias Europae Maxiums. Folding map.
- Totius Sueviae novissima Tabula.
- Nova Alemanniae sive Sueviae Superioris Tabula.
- Comitatus Tirolis.
- Territorium Tridentinum.
- Bavariae Superioris et Inferioris.
- Palatinatus Bavariae.
- Territorium Noribergense.
- Bohemia In SUas Partes.
- Lusatia Superior Auth.
- Silesiae ducatus Accurata.
- Ducatus Silesiae Glogani.
- Comitatus Glatz Authore Iona Sculteto.
- Marchionatus Moraviae.
- Austria Archiducatus.
- Saltzburg Archiepiscopatus.
- Karstia, Carniola, et Windoru Marchia.
- Hungaria Regnum.
- Transylvania, Sibenburgen.
- Walachia, Servia, Bulgaria, Romania.
- Sclavonia, Croatia, Bosnia cum Dalmatiae Parte.
Atlantis Novi Pars Secunda, Exhibens Germaniam Inferiorem, Galliam, Helvetiam, atque Hispaniam. Amstelodami Sumptibus Henrici Hondii & Ioannis Ianssonii. Anno D. 1638.
Again, this edition places Hondius's name before Jansson's, being a variant of the first edition. The engraved title (again pasted over earlier French text) shows the four continents, personified, as well as a wealth of other allegorical imagery that speaks to the broad remit envisioned by Hondius and Jansson for their atlas. This volume goes straight into the maps from the title page.
- Belgii Veteris Typus.
- Belgii sive Germaniae Inferioris.
- Novissima Et Accuratissima Brabantiae.
- Brabantiae Pars Septentrionalis.
- Tabula Castelli ad Sandflitam.
- Tabula Bergarum ad Zomam.
- Pars Meridionalis Brabantiae.
- Mechlinia Dominium.
- Brabantiae pars Orientalis.
- Accuratissima Ditionis Sylvae-Ducensis.
- Ducatus Limburg.
- Lutzenburg Ducatus.
- Ducatus Geldriae.
- Descriptio Fluminum Rheni.
- Fossa Eugeniana.
- Comitatus Flandriae Nova Tabula.
- Afbeeldinghe vande vermaerde. . . [with] Pascaert vande Custe. . .
- Flandria Pars Occidentalis.
- Pars Flandriae orientalis.
- Flandria Gallica.
- Artesia Comitatus.
- [Northern Flanders]
- Comitatuum Hannoniae Et Namurci Descriptio.
- L'Archevesche de Cambray.
- Comitatus Hollandiae.
- Novissima Delflandiae. . .
- Novissima Tabula Insular. Dordracensis.
- Rhinolandiae Amstelandiae.
- [Northern Netherlands]
- De Zype [with] Beemster. . .
- Zeelandia Comitatus.
- Namurcum Comitatus
- Episcop. Ultraiectinus.
- Comitatus Zutphania.
- Ditio Trans-Isulana.
- Illustribus ac Potentibus comitatus Drentiae.
- Frisia Occidentalis.
- Groninga Dominum.
- Gallia Vetus.
- Galliae Veteris Typus.
- Imperium Caroli Magni.
- Galliae supra omnes
- Bolonia & Guines Comitatus.
- Description de Gouvernment de la Capelle
- Carte du Pais de Retelois
- La Souverainete de Sedan et de Raucourt.
- Lotharingia Septentrionalis Loraine.
- Messin Nova Territorii Metensis Descriptio.
- Lorraine Vers le Midy.
- Champagne Comitatus Campania.
- Dioecese De Rheims
- Le Comte de la Brie.
- Ager Parisiensis Vulgo L'Isle de France
- Gouvernement de L'Isle de France.
- Le Pais De Valois.
- Gastinois Et Senonois.
- Beauvaisis Comitatus Belovacium
- Normandia Ducatus
- Le Pais De Caux
- La Beauce.
- Perchensis Comitatus La Perche Compte
- Le Maine
- Duche de Bretaigne.
- Le Duche D'Aniou
- Touraine Turonensis Ducatus
- Description Du Blaisois
- Bituricum DUcatus Duche De Berri.
- Carte Du Pais et Duche de Nivernois.
- Le Duche de Bourgoigne et Comte de Charolois.
- Carte Geometrique Des environs de Charolois
- Burgundiae Comitatus, Franche Comte
- La Principaute de Dombes.
- Lionnois Forest, et Beauiolois.
- Bourbonois Borbonium Ducatus.
- Totius Lemovici Et Confinium provinciaru.
- Poictou Pictaviensis Comitatus.
- Loudunois [with] Mirebalais
- Carte Du Pais De Xaintonge
- Insulae Divi Martini et Uliarus
- Bourdelois, Pays de Medoc.
- Le Pais de Bearn.
- Quercy Cadurcium
- Le Dioecese De Sarlat
- Le Diocese De Sarlat.La Partie Septentrionale du Languedoc.
- La Partie Meridionale du Languedoc.
- Carte Et Description Generale De Dauphine.
- La Principaute D'Orange.
- Provincia La Provence.
- Sabaudia Ducatus La Savoie.
- Helvetia cum finitimis Regionibus confoederatis.
- Zurichgow et Basiliensis Provincia.
- Das Wiflispurgergov.
- Lacus Lemani.
- Rhaetia Foederate cum terris. . .
- Hispaniae Veteris Descriptio.
- Typus Hispaniae.
- Biscaia Et GUipuscoa Cantabriae Veteris Pars.
- Legionis Regnum et Asturiarum Principatus.
- Gallaecia Regnum.
- Portugallia et Algarbia quae olim Lusitania.
- Utriusque Castiliae nova descriptio.
- Andaluzia continens Sevillam et Cordubam
- Valentia Regnum. Cotestani
- Granata, Et Murcia Regna
- Novissima Arragnoiae Regni Tabula.
- Insulae Belearides et Pytusiae.
Atlanti Novi Pars Tertia, Italiam, Graeciam & maximus insulas Maris Mediterranei, nec non Asiam, Africam, atque Americam continens | Editio Ultima | Sumptibus & Typus aneis Henrici Hondij Amsterodami 1636.
Another marvelously engraved title page, this one centered on a majestic god-like figure holding and measuring a globe in one hand. The title page again, following the second volume, uses the motif of women to represent parts of the world. While the previous volume showed the four continets, this title page increases its focus on the New World, with women representing the regions of Peru, Mexico, and the Magellanic Lands (Patagonia and southern Argentina). This greater focus on the New World is reflected by the maps contained within the last part of this volume, as collated below.
- Italia Antiqua
- Italia Nuovamente piu. . .
- Dominium Venetum in Italia.
- Territorio Di Bergamo.
- Territorio di Brescia et Di Crema
- Territorio Cremasco [with] Il Cadorino
- Territorium Vicentium
- Territorio Di Verona
- Territorio Padovano
- Polesino Di Rovigo
- Territorio Trevigiano
- Il Bellunese Con Il Feltrino
- Patria Del Friuli Olim Forum Iulii.
- Istria olim Iapidia.
- Mediolanum Ducatus.
- Parte Alpestre Dello Stato Di Milano.
- Ducato, Overo Territorio Di Milano.
- Territorio Di Pavia.
- Territorio Di Cremona.
- Principatus Pedemontii. . .
- Signoria Di Vercelli.
- Montisferrati Ducatus.
- Reipublicae Genuensis.
- Riviera Di Genova Di Ponenete.
- Riviera Di Genoa Di Levante.
- Mantua Ducatus
- Stato Della Reipublica Di Lucca
- Ducato Di Parma Et Di Piacenza
- Ducato Di Modena Regio
- Dominio Fiorentino
- Terrtorio Di Siena
- Ischia Isola olim Aenaria [with] Elba. . .
- Stato Della Chiesa
- Romagna olim Flaminia
- Ducato Di Ferrara
- Territorium Bononiense Il Bolognese
- Ducato Di Urbino
- Marchia Anconita olim Picenum.
- Territorio Perugino.
- Territorio Di Orvieto
- Umbria OVero Ducato Di Spoleto
- Patrimonio Di S. Pietro, Sabina, et Campagna di Roma
- Neapolitanum Regnum
- Abruzzo Citra et Ultra
- Terra Di Lavoro olim Campania felix
- Principato Citra olim Picentia
- Contado Di MOlise et Principato UItra
- Capitanata olim Mesapiae et Iapigiae pars.
- Terra Di Bari Et Basilicata.
- Terra Di Otrano.
- Calabria Citra
- Calabria Ultra
- Siciliae Regnum
- Descriptio Corsicae Insulae [with] Descriptio Sardiniae Insulae
- Graecia Sophiani Ex conatibus . . .
- Attica Megarica . . .
- Nova Totius Graeciae descriptio
- Macedonia Epirus et Achaia
- Morea olim Peloponnesus
- Candia. . .
- Asia recens summa cura delineata
- Turcicum Imperium.
- Natolia quae olim Asia
- Cyprus Ins
- Situs Terrae Promissionis
- Persia, Sive Sophorum Regnum
- Tartaria sive Magni Chami IMperium
- China Veteribus Sinarum Regio
- Iaponiae Nova Descriptio
- India quae Orientalis dicitur. . .
- Indiae Orientalis Nova Descriptio
- Insularum Moluccarum
- Magni Mogolis Imperium.
- Ins: Ceilan
- Africae nova Tabula
- Barbaria [with] Tunis catpa [with] Aegyptus
- Fezzae Et Marocchi Regna Africae Celebrima
- Abissinorum Sive Pretiosi Ionnis Imperiu [Schider's collation has Aethiopia SUperior vel Interior]
- Aethiopia Inferior vel Exterior.
- America noviter delineata
- America Septentrionalis
- Nova Anglia Nova Belgium et Virginia
- Mappa Aestivarum INsalurm
- Nova Virginiae Tabula
- Virginiae Item et Floridae
- Nova Hispania, Et Nova Galicia
- Insulae Americanae In Oceano Septentrionali
- Terra Firma et Novum Regnum Granatense
- Ameriae Pars MeridionalisVenezuela, cume parte AUstrali Novae Andalusiae
- Guiana sive Amazonum Regio
- Guiana sive Amazonum Regio
- Accuratissima Brasiliae Tabula
- Paraguy, O Prov. . .
- Freti Magellanici
- Polus Antarcticus
Henricus Hondius (1597-1651) was a Dutch engraver and mapmaker, a member of a prominent cartographic family. His father, Jodocus Hondius, was also an engraver and geographer. While working with his father, Henricus was instrumental in the expansion and republishing of Mercator’s atlas, first published in 1595 and republished by Hondius in 1606.
Upon his father’s death in 1612, Henricus and his brother, Jodocus the Younger, took over the business. He set up his own shop in 1621, where he continued to release new editions of the Mercator atlas. Later, he partnered with his brother-in-law, Jan Janssonius, in continuing to expand and publish Mercator’s atlas, which would become known as the Mercator-Hondius-Janssonius atlas. Born and based in Amsterdam, he died there in 1651.