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Catalonia Specialius


Cartographer :

Gerard Mercator/ Jodocus Hondius/ Johannes Cloppenburgh

Dimensions :

22 x 27.5

Conditions details :

Very Good

Reference :


Early coloured map of Catalonia, Spain from the Mercator/ Hondius/ Cloppenburgh atlas ‘Atlas Minor’ in the 1632 edition.


The map "Catalonia Specialius" from the 1632 edition of the "Atlas Minor," a collaborative work by cartographers Gerardus Mercator, Jodocus Hondius, and Johannes Cloppenburgh, is a detailed cartographic representation of Catalonia, a historical region in northeastern Spain.

There have been two Cloppenburgh editions in total. The first edition from 1630 which was published in French, and the second one, the Latin edition of 1632. Most of the maps in the second edition were engraved by Pieter van den Keere. All maps are copper-engraved maps.

Johannes Cloppenburgh was a Dutch cartographer who lived from 1592 to 1652. Based in Amsterdam, he was mainly active between the years of 1610 until 1644.

Gerard Mercator is without a doubt one of the most famous cartographers of all time. He was born in 1512 in Belgium (Flanders), and died in 1594 in Duisburg, Germany. After completing his university studies in 1532, Mercator met Gemma Frisius: a mathematician, as well as Gaspar van der Heyden, also known as Gaspar a Myrica, who was a goldsmith and an engraver. Together, these men were able to produce incredible globes and scientific instruments which ultimately allowed Mercator to gain his skills in cartography.

The most important contribution that Mercator has made, was the creation as well as the popularisation of a cylindrical map projection in 1569, known as the ‘Mercator Projection’. It became the standard map projection for navigation because it is unique in representing north as up and south as down everywhere while preserving local directions and shapes. This served for an accurate latitude as well as longitude calculation which eventually allowed navigational routes to be drawn using straight lines. This was especially important and advantageous for sailors as they could now plot courses without needing to constantly recourse to adjust compass readings.
Another very important contribution to cartography by Gerard Mercator was his coining of the term “atlas”. Never used prior to him, it is a term that is used to describe a collection of maps gathered in one single volume. The Mercator atlas was published in 1595, one year after Mercator’s death.

Jodocus Hondius born in 1563 and died in 1612 was another very important Flemish cartographer. After having left Belgium in 1583 due to the capture of Ghent by the Spanish, Hondius settled down in Amsterdam in 1593, opening up his own Hondius publishing house. While working with Cornelius Claesz, the two men were able to acquire the copper plates from Mercator’s ‘Atlas Minor’ from Gerard Mercator’s grandson. Hondius immediately started reproducing as well as as expanding the ‘Atlas Minor’ by adding 36 new maps. Hondius’s Mercator Atlas was a huge success. Although Hondius listed himself only as the publisher and Mercator as the author, the new series became known as the Mercator-Hondius atlas and it established Jodocus Hndius as one of the most famous publishers of that time.

The dimensions of this map are: 22 x 27.5cm

The map is in overall very good condition. It is decoratively coloured. This map has a latin text at the back.

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