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Fine early map of the Shetland Island and Orkney Islands, by Henricus Hondius.

Scarce map of Scotland's northern archipelagos showing the Orkney Islands at left and the Shetland Islands at right. The seas are filled with fishing boats and sailings ships and fish stringers are suspended from the title cartouche attesting to the rich fishing grounds of the region.

A note near the distance scale cartouche notes that the Dutch annual herring harvest supplies all of Europe. The map is further adorned with the royal coat of arms of Scotland.

Henricus Hondius Biography

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.