Coloured map of Russia. Printed in Amsterdam by H. Hondius in 1633.

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Reference 12885

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A very fine example of the first map of Russia by Gerard Mercator. First published in 1595 in his famous Atlas. Mercator's attention to detail established a new standard for Russian maps, influencing subsequent cartographers.

In the West from Scandinavia to the Ob River, including Prussia, parts of Denmark, and the eastern regions of Poland and Hungary. To the north, the Sea of Murmansk dominates, while the Black Sea coast lies to the south. The Volga and Don Rivers, marked by mountain ranges just beyond, form the southeast boundary. At the lower right an inset map titled Russiae Pars Amplificata, offers a closer look at the Moscow region, emphasizing its importance for Western European merchants. The map is adorned with informative notes, suggesting new names and providing insights. A Latin text describes the Mari people of the Volga River valley.

This beautiful example comes from the French edition of the Mercator-Hondius Atlas of 1633, printed from the same plate used for the 1595 atlas. French text on verso.


CartographerGerard Mercator
TitleRussia cum Confinijs
Publisher, YearH. Hondius, Amsterdam, 1633
Plate Size35.4 x 47.3 cm (13.9 x 18.6 inches)
Sheet Size46.5 x 57.0 cm (18.3 x 22.4 inches)
ReferenceVan der Krogt, P.: Koeman's Atlantes Neerlandici, 1800:1A.


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: Russia cum Confinijs.
Coloured map of Russia. Printed in Amsterdam by H. Hondius in 1633.

Russia - Mercator, Gerard - Russia cum Confinijs

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