MERCATOR, Gerard (1512-1594) and HONDIUS, Jodocus (1563-1612). L'Atlas Ou Meditiations Cosmographiques De La Fabrique Du Monde et Figure Diceluy. Commence En Latin Par Le Tres Docte Gerard Mercator, Paracheve p[ar] Jodocus Hondius. Traduit En Francois Par Le Sieur [Henri Lancelot-Voisin] De La P[opliniere]. Amsterdam: Jodocus Hondius, 1609.
5 parts in one volume. Folio (18 4/8 x 11 inches). Engraved allegorical title-page incorporating the figure of Atlas, 4 engraved sectional title-pages, double-page engraved world map, and 146 engraved maps, all double-page except one, and mounted on guards, with contemporary hand-colour in part, completed more recently (washed and browned, some early marginal repairs). Mottled calf over bevelled boards, brass clasps and catches, antique.
First French text edition, translated from the Latin text of 1607 by the historian Henri Lancelot-Voisin de la Popliniere (d. 1608). In 1604, after the death of Gerard Mercator and his son Rumold, the plates for his celebrated maps were sold to the great Amsterdam cartographer, Jodocus Hondius. He issued the first of his "Mercator-Hondius" Atlas in 1606. Hondius supplemented the the original 107 maps with 39 mew maps compiled under his own supervision. These new maps were of were of extremely high quality, and were for the most part devoted to parts of the world, such as America, that had been neglected by Mercator. The present 1609 edition was only the third of the approximately thirty published by the firm of Hondius before the atlas was discontinued in 1641.
The Mercator family of cartographers produced some of the most important maps of the sixteenth century. Gerard Mercator, the patriarch of the family, is famed for the development of Mercator's projection, first demonstrated on his world map of 1569, which allowed any compass course to appear as a straight line. His next project was the creation of a complete world 'Atlas', the first publication to be called by that name. This occupied him until his death in 1594 and the unfinished atlas was left in the care of his son Rumold.
"Jodocus Hondius obtained the copper-plates of Mercator's atlases (Ptolemy's "Geographia" and the "Atlas") on 12 July 1604. He probably bought them at Leiden at the auction of Mercator's library, then in the possession of his grandson, Gerard Mercator, Jr. A partly new text to the maps was written by Petrus Montanus. after [Jodocus Hondius's] death, the widow with her seven children continued publishing the atlases under the name of Jodocus Hondius till 1620. The firm was reinforced by the very welcome help of Joannes Jansonius (1588-1664), who married 24-year-old Elizabeth Hondius in 1612. After 1619 the Atlas was published under the name of Henricus Hondius [Jodocus Hondius's son] (Koeman). Koeman II, Me 19. Catalogued by Kate Hunter