Europa, ad magnae Europae Gerardi Mercatoris

Gerard Mercator (*1512 - 1594)
Coloured map of the European continent. Printed in Amsterdam by Henricus Hondius in 1628.

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Reference 12766

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This map of Europe is from Mercator's Atlas sive Cosmographicae Meditationes de Fabrica Mundi et Fabricati Figura, first published in 1595.

The geography depicted on the map corresponds to Mercator's world wall map of 1569. There are several fictional elements on the map that originated from Nicolo Zeno, a Venetian, in 1558. According to Zeno's map, his noble ancestors Nicolò and Antonio discovered America in the 15th century, predating Columbus. However, they became stranded on an island called Frisland (Frislant), located south of Iceland, which does not actually exist. Mercator included Zeno's information on his maps, and due to his esteemed reputation, these inaccuracies continued to be depicted on maps in subsequent years.

Mercator's maps are renowned for their elegant lettering and engraving. The intricate strapwork cartouche is only present in early editions of this atlas. In 1606, Jodocus Hondius assumed production of the atlas and made numerous alterations.


CartographerGerard Mercator
TitleEuropa, ad magnae Europae Gerardi Mercatoris
Publisher, YearHenricus Hondius, Amsterdam, 1628
Plate Size38.3 x 46.7 cm (15.1 x 18.4 inches)
Sheet Size47.7 x 56.7 cm (18.8 x 22.3 inches)
ReferenceVan der Krogt, P.: Koeman's Atlantes Neerlandici, 1000:1A


Small tear backed in lower margin. Wide margin, very good condition.


Gerard Mercator (Kremer) was born in Rupelmonde in Flanders and studied in Louvain. He drawn his first map in 1537 and became a cartographer and globe maker. In 1552 he moved to Duisburg, Germany where he published his famous 18-sheet world map in 1569 with his own new projection, today called Mercator projection. Later he decided to publish a new edition of Ptolemy's Geographia. Followed by his major work, a 3 volume collection of maps to which the word Atlas was applied the first time. The first volume was published 1585, followed by the second in 1589 and the third one after his death in 1595 by his son Rumold. A second edition of all three parts was published 1602. 1604 Jodocus Hondius acquired the plates and published several edition together with his sons Jodocus II and Henricus until 1633. More editions followed until 1666 by Janssonius who was in partnership with Henricus. Some of the plated where also used by W.J. Blaeu in 1630.

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Gerard Mercator: Europa, ad magnae Europae Gerardi Mercatoris.
Coloured map of the European continent. Printed in Amsterdam by Henricus Hondius in 1628.

Europe Continent - Mercator, Gerard - Europa, ad magnae Europae Gerardi Mercatoris

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