Mercator, Gerard (1512-1594).
4 parts bound in one volume, comprising:
Galliae tabulae geographicae. Duisburg, , engraved title, dedication leaf to Wilhelm and Johann Wilhelm, Dukes of Jülich, Kleve and Berg, dated August 1585, 16 engraved maps, all but one double-page
Germaniae tabulae geographicae. Duisburg, , engraved title, 26 double-page engraved maps
Belgii inferioris tabulae geographicae. Duisburg, , engraved title, 9 double-page engraved maps
Italiae, Sclavoniae, et Graeciae tabulae geographicae. Duisburg, , engraved architectural title, dedication leaf to Ferdinand de Medici with “Candido lectori” on verso, engraved portrait of Mercator by Frans Hogenberg (without printed verse), 22 double-page engraved maps
Folio (415 x 280mm.), early manuscript index of maps at beginning, contemporary vellum, the covers with a central knotwork cartouche surrounded by a fillet and foliate border gilt with fleuron cornerpieces, an area of upper marginal soiling at beginning, map of Serbia with rust spot with hole at centre, repaired, map of Westphalia with rust hole repaired with loss, a few other rust spots elsewhere, binding repaired with several guards renewed and the covers with yapp edges restored, all by James Brockman
“Bardi. Ex Bibliotheca Prin. D. Federici 1620”, inscription on title-page; Andrea Doria Landi Pamphili, erased stamp on title-page and last page; Antiquariaat Meijer Elte, The Hague, 19 July 1980
Koeman II, Me 9, Me 11; Shirley, British Library T.MER-2a and 2b; van der Krogt 1:001 and 1:002B
the beginnings of mercator’s ground-breaking atlas. Gerard Mercator is one of the greatest figures of cartography: his influence on the way we perceive the world is still felt today through his innovative projection of the globe, which has been used by navigators ever since its invention in 1569. Further to this, Mercator also coined the phrase “atlas” and his complete work of 1595 (see next lot) is the first collection of maps to carry this appellation.
Following Mercator’s death, his heirs sold his map plates to Jodocus Hondius, who produced a new version of the atlas, with his own additional maps, in 1606. This is generally known as the Mercator–Hondius atlas, as are the various editions in different languages that followed (see lots following). The reach of this landmark cartographical work was further extended with the appearance of the smaller-format Atlas minor in 1607 (see lots following).
The present volume contains the first four parts of Mercator's atlas. The first three parts were published simultaneously and are usually found together; it is less common to find the fourth part, Italiae, included (as here, bound first).
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