Coloured map of West Africa. Printed in Amsterdam by H. Hondius in 1633.

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Reference 12873

750,00 €

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Highly decorative antique map by Jodocus Hondius, showing the West African Coast from Rio Senego (Senegal) to Cape Lopez, just below the equator. The map extends its coverage to include Guinea, parts of Benin, and Lybia, with a detailed inset of St. Thomas. From the French edition of the Mercator-Hondius Atlas printed in 1633.

This map is part of Hondius' first edition of Mercator's Atlas, offering a valuable record of the western coast of Africa. Focused on the region from the Senegal River to the islands of Fernando Po and São Principe, it reflects the Portuguese exploration and mapping of the area.

Portuguese explorers, starting with Nuno Tristão in the early 1440s, reached significant milestones like the Senegal River, establishing trade posts along the coast, including Cacheu in modern-day Guinea-Bissau. The trade in this region encompassed commodities such as gold, ivory, spices, and sadly, the slave trade. The islands of São Tomé and Principe played crucial roles as transshipment points for the latter.

In the early 17th century, when Hondius created Guineae Nova Descriptio, Portugal still held dominance in this region, although competition from Dutch and English powers was on the rise. The map provides a retrospective look at Portuguese influence, capturing key ports, river systems, and geographical features before the Dutch maritime influence began to challenge Portuguese control.


CartographerJodocus Hondius
TitleGuineae Nova Descriptio
Publisher, YearH. Hondius, Amsterdam, 1633
Plate Size34.5 x 49.0 cm (13.6 x 19.3 inches)
Sheet Size48.9 x 56.4 cm (19.3 x 22.2 inches)
ReferenceVan der Krogt, P.: Koeman's Atlantes Neerlandici, 8700:1A.


Very good condition.


Jodocus Hondius was born 1563 in Wakken (West Flanders). He became a globe maker and map engraver. In 1593 he set up his business in Amsterdam after he spent several years in London. He was one of the most important engravers of his time and engraved maps for van den Keere, Waghenaer and Speed. Hondius bought the plates of Mercator in 1604, added around 40 maps and published the expanded Mercator-Atlas first 1606 still under Mercator's name. After his death 1612 in Amsterdam, the business was carried out by his sons Jodocus II and Henricus.

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Jodocus Hondius: Guineae Nova Descriptio.
Coloured map of West Africa. Printed in Amsterdam by H. Hondius in 1633.

West Africa - Hondius, Jodocus - Guineae Nova Descriptio

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