Tel 44 (0)20 7589 4325
Fax 44 (0)20 7589 4325
Email:[email protected]



Mercator Hondius: America Meriodionalis

Map: SAM3462
Cartographer: Mercator Hondius
Title: America Meriodionalis
Date: c. 1620
Published: Amsterdam
Width: 19 inches / 49 cm
Height: 15 inches / 39 cm
Map ref: SAM3462
Dutch Golden Age map of South America based on the map by Plancius. Embellished with a large vignette of the city of Cuzco as well as a sea monster and ships.

This is one of the great early maps of South America available commercially. The shape is remarkably accurate for its time reflecting the extraordinary amount of European activity around the shores of the continent, partly due to Spanish and Portuguese settlement but also due to circumnavigation by English, Dutch and French mariners. Little is shown in the interior, as almost no internal exploration had been done although there is a vignette of one of the legendary Patagonian giants in the Southern part of the continent and the upper part shows a vast body of water named Lake Parime under which a caption refers to an expedition led by Walter Raleigh in search of El Dorado in 1595.

Fundamentally, the shape of the map is taken from the wall map of the world produced by Petrus Plancius in 1592. However, it was then substantially developed with additional information on another wall map by Josua van der Ende published for Willem Blaeu c.1604 but which again was an update of the 1592 map mentioned above.

This sheet was one of the 37 new maps which were added by Jodocus Hondius the Elder to the collection of maps purchased form Gerhard Mercator’s descendants and together they formed the great atlas now generally called the “Mercator Hondius Atlas” which was in continuous production by the Hondius family for almost fifty years.

French text on verso. Original hand colour. [SAM3642]