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Orbis Terrae Novissima Descriptio

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Orbis Terrae Novissima Descriptio : J. Le Clerc / J. Hondius / G. Mercator

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Fact, in the references to Francis Drake's exploration and fantasy, with the clearly defined Great Southern Continent are the fascination of this classic map. A beautiful and rare world map, one of two engraved by Jodocus Hondius for Jean Le Clerc, published in his atlas of 1619. This map is loosely based on the double hemispheres issued by Gerard Mercator's son in 1587 but has elements of note in references to the English claims, after Drake's circumnavigation, on the west coast of North America and Queen Elizabeth's Islands off Tierra Del Fuego. Elegantly engraved, the land detail stands out against a stippled sea and the spheres are surrounded by a strapwork frame in which numerous elements appear - in the upper corners of the plate are circles showing the names of the winds in Dutch and Italian; in the lower corners diagrams of the phases of the moon and climatic zones. In the centre, beneath the title two goat-legged winged women support an astronomical globe, balanced by a compass rose below the map. At the bottom a quotation from the Psalms balances the title. Hondius' decorative border is delightful, with monkeys and fruit, without distracting from the map. Although reissued after Le Clerc's death by his widow all examples of this map are rare - especially so retaining the engraving date of 1602, just a few years after Hondius returned to Holland from several years in London. A fine example.
region: World Maps
mapmakers: J. Le Clerc J. Hondius   G. Mercator  
place and date of publication: Paris 1602-1619
medium and colour: Copperplate, Uncoloured
size in mm: 330 by 510mm (13 by 20 inches).
ref: 37004
literature: Shirley, The Mapping Of The World, map 233

Price: £ 4900

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