1637 Polus Antarcticus – Henricus Hondius – FRAMED


1 in stock

First edition of this famous hemispherical map of the Antarctic region showing Australia prior to the discoveries of Tasman’s voyages in 1642 and 1643-44.

SKU: MA0639 Categories: , , ,

South polar view of the world, with decorative depictions of scenes from various parts.  Hondius’s ‘Polus Antarcticus’ was one of the most popular pre-Tasman maps.  In all the copperplate was altered three times.  In 1645 Hondius’s imprint was changed to Jansson.  In 1650 the blank cartouche was removed and in 1657 the title cartouche is removed and Tasman’s discoveries are shown.  It is one of the earliest maps to show Pieter Nuyts discoveries on the south West coast of Australia, in 1627.  In fact, only 3 exceedingly rare maps preceding Hondius’s map, show these discoveries.

JODOCUS HONDIUS 1563-1612 – HENRICUS HONDIUS (son) 1587-1638

Jodocus Hondius, one of the most notable engravers of his time, is known for his work in association with many of the cartographers and publishers prominent at the end of the sixteenth and the beginning of the seventeenth century. A native of Flanders, he grew up in Ghent, apprenticed as an instrument and globe maker and map engraver. In 1584, to escape the religious troubles sweeping the Low Countries at that time, he fled to London where he spent some years before finally settling in Amsterdam about 1593. In the London period he came into contact with the leading scientists and geographers of the day and engraved maps in The Mariner’s Mirrour, the English edition of Waghenaer’s Sea Atlas, as well as others with Pieter van den Keere, his brother-in-law. No doubt his temporary exile in London stood him in good stead, earning him an international reputation, for it could have been no accident that Speed chose Hondius to engrave the plates for the maps in The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine in the years between 1605 and 1610.

In 1604 Hondius bought the plates of Mercator’s Atlas which, in spite of its excellence, had not competed successfully with the continuing demand for the Ortelius Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. To meet this competition Hondius added about 40 maps to Mercator’s original number and from 1 6o6 published enlarged editions in many languages, still under Mercator’s name but with his own name as publisher. These atlases have become known as the Mercator/Hondius series. The following year the maps were re-engraved in miniature form and issued as a pocket Atlas Minor. After the death of Jodocus Hondius the Elder in 1612, work on the two atlases, folio and miniature, was carried on by his widow and sons, Jodocus II and Henricus, and eventually in conjunction with Jan Jansson in Amsterdam. In all, from 1606 onwards, nearly 50 editions with increasing numbers of maps with texts in the main European languages were printed. Summaries of these issues are given under the entry for Gerard Mercator.

Dimensions 49 × 43 cm
Map Maker


Amsterdam 1637

Dimensions with Frame

92 x 86cm


‘Polus Antarcticus’ Henricus Hondius Excudit


Trimmed to margins. Hand coloured.

Interested in Exclusive Discounts?

Sign Up To Our Mailing List