Rare Henricus Hondius map 'Nova Totius Terrarum...' auctions in London

A 15th century map manuscript by the Dutch engraver and cartographer Henricus Hondius II is auctioning in London on January 31. It carries a £3,000-4,000 presale estimate.

As with Hondius's other maps which have previously auctioned, this example mixes the geography recognised in its era with mythological elements. 

The double-hemisphere manuscript shows California as an island and part of the north coast of Australia. A small celestial globe appears alongside portrait medallions of Julius Caesar, Ptolemy, Gerard Mercator and Jodocus Hondius, Henricus's father, in each corner.


Hondius (Henricus) Nova Totius Terrarum orbis Geog410

Hondius's rare 'Nova Totius Terrarum orbis Geog' map

The map has been hand coloured, measures 380 x 540mm and has a central vertical fold. French text is scribed on its verso.

Of particular note is the drawing of Claudius Ptolemaeus, known as Ptolemy in English. Mathematician, astronomer and geographer Ptolemy played a key role in evolving the art of mapmaking during the 2nd Century AD.

Ptolemy's treatise on mapping was a definitive guide to how it should be done. Its influence is very evident in Hondius's map.

If you'd like to find out more about rare maps, see our special report here: 'How To... Understand antique map-printing.'

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