Coloured map of China. Printed in Amsterdam by Henricus Hondius in 1623.

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Reference 12412

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Impressive antique map of China, Japan and Korea by Jodocus Hondius. First published in the Mercator-Hondius Atlas of 1606.

At the beginning of the 17th century, little is known about this region in Europe. Hondius used Barbuda's map of China and Texeira's map of Japan as template. The result is an charming interplay of fiction and reality. Thus Japan deviates strongly from reality and Korea is depicted as an island. Within China several big lakes dominate, in the northeast of India the mythical Lake Chiang Mai (Chiamai Lacus) feeds five large rivers. The Great Wall of China is prominently displayed, also the position of the imperial palace, the Forbidden City, is indicated. Between Asia and America the mythical Strait of Anián is marked, in the upper right corner the northwest of America is shown and according to a note it is inhabited by Tartar hordes.

The map is decorated with three cartouches, one shows the persecution of Christian missionaries in Japan. Probably a reference to the 26 Martyrs of Japan, executed on Tateyama Hill in Nagasaki in 1567. To the left a Chinese land sailing vehicle, in the Pacific Ocean a sea monster, a European and a Japanese sailing ship, in the northwest of America two deer.

Hondius published the map for the first time in his Atlas sive Cosmographicae in 1606, this beautiful example comes from the Latin edition of 1623.


CartographerJodocus Hondius
Publisher, YearHenricus Hondius, Amsterdam, 1623
Plate Size34.2 x 45.7 cm (13.5 x 18.0 inches)
Sheet Size42.0 x 53.5 cm (16.5 x 21.1 inches)
ReferenceVan der Krogt, P.: Koeman's Atlantes Neerlandici, 8410:1A


A tear in lower centerfold backed, two brown spots in upper margin. Printed on strong paper. 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: China.
Coloured map of China. Printed in Amsterdam by Henricus Hondius in 1623.

China - Hondius, Jodocus - China

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