Adina Sommer`s Rare Antique Maps and Contemporary Art

Ceilan insula / Neccius Voyage to China.

  • Translation

Article ID ASS1327
Artist Hondius/Sparke (1563-1612)
Jodocus Hondius (1563 –1612) was a Dutch engraver, and cartographer. He is best known for his early maps of the New World and Europe, for re-establishing the reputation of the work of Gerard Mercator, and for his portraits of Francis Drake. He helped establish Amsterdam as the center of cartography in Europe in the 17th century. He was born in Wakken and grew up in Ghent. In his early years he established himself as an engraver, instrument maker and globe maker. In 1584 he moved to London to escape religious difficulties in Flanders. While in England, Hondius was instrumental in publicizing the work of Francis Drake, who had made a circumnavigation of the world in the late 1570s. In particular, in 1589 Hondius produced a now famous map of the bay of New Albion, where Drake briefly established a settlement on the west coast of North America. Hondius' map was based on journal and eyewitness accounts of the trip and has long fueled speculation about the precise location of Drake's landing, which has not yet been firmly established by historians. Hondius is also thought to be the artist of several well-known portraits of Drake that are now in the National Portrait Gallery in London. In 1593 he moved to Amsterdam, where he remained until the end of his life. In co-operation with the Amsterdam publisher Cornelis Claesz. in 1604 he purchased the plates of Gerard Mercator's Atlas from Mercator's grandson. Mercator's work had languished in comparison to the rival Theatrum Orbis Terrarum by Ortelius. Hondius republished Mercator's work with 36 additional maps, including several which he himself had produced. Despite the addition of his own contributions, Hondius gave Mercator full credit as the author of the work, listing himself as the publisher. Hondius' new edition of Mercator's work was a great success, selling out after a year. Hondius later published a second edition, as well as a pocket version Atlas Minor. The maps have since become known as the ""Mercator/Hondius series"" . In the French edition of the Atlas Minor we find one of the first instances of a thematic map using map symbols. This is a map entitled Designatio orbis christiani (1607) showing the dispersion of major religions. Between 1605 and 1610 he was employed by John Speed to engrave the plates for Speed's The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine. Hondius died, aged 48, in Amsterdam. After his death, his publishing work in Amsterdam was continued by his widow, two sons, Jodocus II and Henricus, and son-in-law Johannes Janssonius, whose name appears on the Atlas as co-publisher after 1633. Eventually, starting with the first 1606 edition in Latin, about 50 editions of the Atlas were released in the main European languages. In the Islamic world, the atlas was partially translated by the Turkish scholar Katip Çelebi. The series is sometimes called the ""Mercator/Hondius/Janssonius"" series because of Janssonius's later contributions.
Title Ceilan insula / Neccius Voyage to China.
Year ca. 1610
Description Map shows the island of Ceylon with a splendid title cartouche.
Sri Lanka was known from the beginning of British colonial rule as Ceylon. Its geographic location and deep harbours made it of great strategic importance from the time of the ancient Silk Road through to the modern Maritime Silk Road. Before the beginning of the Dutch governance, the island of Ceylon was divided between the Portuguese Empire and the Kingdom of Kandy, who were in the midst of a war for control of the island as a whole. The island attracted the attention of the newly formed Dutch Republic when they were invited by the Sinhalese King to fight the Portuguese. Dutch rule over much of the island was soon imposed. The Kingdom of Kandy was the last independent monarchy of Sri Lanka. In the late 18th century the Dutch, weakened by their wars against Great Britain, were conquered by Napoleonic France, and their leaders became refugees in London. No longer able to govern their part of the island effectively, the Dutch transferred the rule of it to the British, although this was against the wishes of the Dutch residing there. In 1972, the country became a republic named Sri Lanka, repudiating its dominion status.
Place of Publication London
Dimensions (cm)28 x 18,5 cm
ConditionPerfect condition
Coloringoriginal colored
TechniqueCopper print

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