This is a fine, early map by Gerard Mercator of the area of
southern Russia and the Crimea with the Black Sea to the south.
North at the top of the map.
Gerard Mercator (1512-1594) was one of
the most famous geographers of his time. He was renowned
as a scholar in his day, and his name is known to this day as
the inventor of the map projections named after him. His
maps are known for their precise geographic information and
for their attention to detail. All of his maps are
finely engraving, mostly by Mercator or by one of his family
members. He worked initially from Leuven, Flanders, but
then from Duisberg in Germany. Around 1563, Mercator
became cosmographer to Duke William V of Julich, Kleve.. in
Germany. As the cosmographer, he began the writing of a
Cosmography intended to cover, in five volumes, the entire known world. As Mercator was involved in all aspects
of the time-consuming Cosmography, from writing the text,
drawing the maps, and engraving the copperplates, the atlas
was not finished in his lifetime and only sections were
finished and published before his death. His son, Rumold,
along with other family members finished the various parts and
published the final product, including previously published
parts, as the Atlas Sive Cosmographicae... in 1595.
The map was used for Mercator's Atlas Sive
Cosmographicae... in 1595.
further edition of this atlas was published by the Mercator family
in Duisberg in 1602 with this same map. In 1604,
the copperplates for the atlas were sold to Jodocus Hondius
and Cornelis Claesz. In 1606, Hondius introduced a completely
revised edition of Mercator's atlas, Atlas
sive Cosmographicae...... and used this map from the
Mercator plates for inclusion in the atlas, or as it is often called, the
(1563-1612) was the founder of the famous 17th century Dutch map
publishing family. Hondius, along with sons Jodocus II and
Henricus and son-in-law Johannes Janssonius, was prominent in Dutch
cartography and his family competed aggressively with the emerging Blaeu family map
This particular map appeared in the
Latin edition of
the Mercator Hondius Atlas of 1613. Latin text on
the verso describes this area of Russia.
This map last appeared in 1633 in a French edition of the
atlas, after which it was replaced
with other maps of the region by the Hondius and
Janssonius publishing firm (van der Krogt, p. 592).
Reference: Van der Krogt, Peter. Koeman's Atlantes
Neerlandici, vol. 1. 't Goy-Houten:
There are several recent
books about Gerard Mercator that we recommend to increase your
enjoyment and understanding of Mercator and his maps:
Mercator: The Man Who Mapped the Planet by Nicholas Crane,
and The World of Gerard Mercator by Andrew Taylor.
Fine condition; Strong map image. Complete,
untrimmed margins. With slight age-toning in the
margins as was common on many early Mercator-Hondius maps.