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Gerard Mercator, Jodocus Hondius, Atlas Minor, Das ist: Ein kurtze / jedoch gründliche Beschreibung der ganzen Welt/und aller ihrer Theyl.

Amsterdam, Joannis Janssonius, 1628. Oblong 4to. Engraved early colored title, 3 leaves, 600 pp with 143 early colored maps, 8 leaves. Beautiful contemporary German blind-tooled pigskin.


This beautiful atlas 'Atlas Minor' of Johannes Janssonius, published in 1631, is the German edition of the renowned cartographic work and a revised edition of the earlier "Atlas Minor" by Gerard Mercator and Jodocus Hondius. This edition contains early-colored copper engravings.


The atlas begins with a world map. Tis map provides a general overview of the known continents of the time. Moving on to the maps of specific regions, the "Atlas Minor" includes detailed maps of European countries such as Spain, France, England, and the Netherlands. The atlas also delves into maps of the Americas, including North and South America, revealing the extent of European exploration and colonization in the New World. There are maps of individual American colonies, highlighting the boundaries and settlements of early English, Spanish, and Portuguese territories. Africa and Asia are well represented, with maps depicting the known coastlines, interior regions, and significant cities of these continents. The atlas reflects the limited European knowledge of America, Africa and Asia during this period. Additionally, the "Atlas Minor" includes maps of various islands and island groups, contributing to navigational knowledge and exploration. These maps feature coastal details, important ports, and geographical characteristics.


Mercator's Atlas Minor was conceived by Jodocus Hondius in 1607 as a reduced-sized edition of the popular folio-sized Mercator Atlas. The Atlas Minor was intended to be larger than a pocket atlas, yet smaller than the folio atlas, and were priced accordingly to reach a new market. There were three different editions of the Atlas Minor published by different authors, each with a new set of copperplates. Hondius published the first edition from 1607-1621, and subsequently sold the copperplates to parties in England between 1621-1625, after which an English edition was published using many of the original plates in 1635-39. Johannes Jansson wanted to compete in the small atlas market as well, and had new copperplates engraved by Pieter van den Keere and Abraham Goos for his own edition published in multiple languages between 1628-51.


This 1631 German edition of the "Atlas Minor" provides a valuable historical record of the geographic understanding of the time, offering insights into early modern cartography and the colonial aspirations of European powers. The maps within the atlas are not only informative but also richly decorated, featuring intricate illustrations that capture the artistic and scientific spirit of the era.

Atlas Minor - Joannis Janssonius

SKU: 3004
  • Cartographer

    Johannes Jansonnius
  • Date


  • Dimensions (cm)

    18 x 23
  • Conditions

    Very Good
  • Ref


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