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Gerard Mercator
Duisburg and then Amsterdam, (1595) 1613

Mercator's Map of The Crimea in Russia:  TAVRICA CHERSONES:VS Nostra ... Per Gerardum Mercatorem. 

Original copperplate printed map
Fine handcolor
315 x 400 mm
Map # E-373
$ Sold

Click Here for High Resolution Image

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.  One 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 Mercator-Hondius atlas.  

Jodocus Hondius (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 business. 

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: HES Publishers,1997.  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.

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