Catalog Archive
Auction 156, Lot 420

Rare Example from the Only English Text Edition of Mercator's Atlas

"Tabula Islandiae Auctore Georgio Carolo Flandro", Hondius/Jansson

Subject: Iceland

Period: 1636 (published)

Publication: Gerardi Mercatoris et I. Hondii. Atlas

Color: Black & White

19.5 x 15.1 inches
49.5 x 38.4 cm

This handsome copper engraved map of Iceland was based on information from a Dutch navigator named Joris Carolus in about 1620. The map shows the influence of both versions of Bishop Gudbrandur's previous maps, a coastline resembling the Ortelius version, and Mercator's selection and spelling of many place names. The island's topography is dominated by huge mountains and volcanoes and its shoreline is a rugged labyrinth of fiords. It is richly embellished with title and distance scale cartouches, compass roses, rhumb lines, a sailing ship and two sea monsters. The cartouche features two winged sprites, an important symbol in Icelandic and Norse mythology. Along with elves and dwarfs, sprites were magical beings who aided the gods. The map was first issued by Jodocus Hondius and later re-issued by Willem Blaeu. This is the first state without a publisher's imprint. This map became the prototype for the mapping of Iceland and its influence did not wane until the mid-18th century. Rare example with English text on verso.

References: IMCOS (Exploring Old Landscapes) pp. 8-9; Van der Krogt (Vol. I) #1250:1B.1.

Condition: B+

A superb, dark impression on watermarked paper with damp stains along the centerfold at top and bottom, only entering the map 1" at bottom.

Estimate: $550 - $700

Sold for: $400

Closed on 2/17/2016