This item has been sold, but you can enter your email address to be notified if another example becomes available, or purchase a digital scan.

1606 Hondius Map of the Turkish Empire

Turcici Imperii Imago. - Main View

1606 Hondius Map of the Turkish Empire


A Classic Dutch Map of the Eastern Mediterranean, Arabian Peninsula and the Near East.



Turcici Imperii Imago.
  1633 (undated)     16.5 x 19.5 in (41.91 x 49.53 cm)     1 : 12000000


This is Jodocus Hondius' 1606 map of the Turkish Empire. It is among the maps Hondius added to Gerard Mercator's Atlas after having acquired the copperplates for Mercator's essentially unfinished work. While many of the maps Hondius added replaced earlier Mercator maps in the Atlas, this one had no earlier analog and was thus entirely new to the book. This very attractive example is from the 1633 German edition of the atlas.
The Sources
Some of the textual matter of the map - the gloss on the Kingdom of Ormus, for example - is drawn from Ortelius' Turcici Imperii Descriptio, who in turn drew heavily on the work of Giacomo Gastaldi.
The Map
The map shows the eastern portion of the Mediterranean, including Italy and Sicily, and extends eastward to show the whole of the Arabian Peninsula, the Persian Gulf, (Mare Elcatif olim Sinus Arabicus on the map) and the Caspian sea. Ranging north to south, the map extends from the southern part of Russia and Muscovy, reaching sufficiently southwards to include all of the Red Sea and much of the Lower Nile.
The Cartouche
The map's ornate title cartouche features a medallion with the portrait of a turbaned potentate, labeled 'Sultan Mahumet Turcorum Imperat.' This is Mehmed III, (May 1566– 22 December 1603) who was Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1595 until 1603.
Publication History and Census
This map first appeared in Jodocus Hondius' 1606 Atlas, and would continue to be included in editions of that work up through the French edition of 1639-44. About thirty examples of the separate map appear in institutional collections. OCLC lists four examples of the German edition of the Hondius atlas in institutional collections, although the work is well represented in other languages. The map appears on the market from time to time in varied condition.


Jodocus Hondius (October, 14 1563 - February 12, 1612) was an important Dutch cartographer active in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. His common name, Jodocus Hondius is actually a Latinized version of his Dutch name, Joost de Hondt. He is also sometimes referred to as Jodocus Hondius the Elder to distinguish him from his sons. Hondius was a Flemish artist, engraver, and cartographer. He is best known for his early maps of the New World and Europe, for re-establishing the reputation of the work of Gerard Mercator, and for his portraits of Francis Drake. Hondius was born and raised in Ghent. In his early years he established himself as an engraver, instrument maker and globe maker. In 1584 he moved to London to escape religious difficulties in Flanders. During his stay in England, Hondius was instrumental in publicizing the work of Francis Drake, who had made a circumnavigation of the world in the late 1570s. In particular, in 1589 Hondius produced a now famous map of the cove of New Albion, where Drake briefly established a settlement on the west coast of North America. Hondius' map was based on journal and eyewitness accounts of the trip and has long fueled speculation about the precise location of Drake's landing, which has not yet been firmly established by historians. Hondius is also thought to be the artist of several well-known portraits of Drake that are now in the National Portrait Gallery in London. In 1593, Hondius returned to Amsterdam, where he remained until the end of his life. In 1604, he purchased the plates of Gerard Mercator's Atlas from Mercator's grandson. Mercator's work had languished in comparison to the rival atlas, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum by Ortelius. Hondius republished Mercator's work with 36 additional maps, including several which he himself produced. Despite the addition of his own contributions, Hondius recognizing the prestige of Mercator's name, gave Mercator full credit as the author of the work, listing himself as the publisher. Hondius' new edition of Mercator revived the great cartographer's reputation and was a great success, selling out after a year. Hondius later published a second edition, as well as a pocket version called the Atlas Minor. The maps have since become known as the "Mercator/Hondius series". Between 1605 and 1610 Hondius was employed by John Speed to engrave the plates for Speed's The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine. Following Hondius' death in 1612, his publishing work in Amsterdam was continued by his widow and two sons, Jodocus II and Henricus. Later his family formed a partnership with Jan Jansson, whose name appears on the Atlasas co-publisher after 1633. Eventually, starting with the first 1606 edition in Latin, about 50 editions of the Atlas were released in the main European languages. In the Islamic world, the atlas was partially translated by the Turkish scholar Katip Çelebi. The series is sometimes called the 'Mercator/Hondius/Jansson' series because of Jansson's later contributions. Hondius' is also credited with a number of important cartographic innovations including the introduction of decorative map borders and contributions to the evolution of 17th century Dutch wall maps. The work of Hondius was essential to the establishment Amsterdam as the center of cartography in Europe in the 17th century. Learn More...


Hondius, J and Mercator, G. Gerardi Mercatoris Et I. Hondii Atlas, Das ist, Abbildung der gantzen welt, mit allen darin begrissenen Ländern und Provintzen: Sonderlich von Teutschland, Franckreigh, Niderland, Ost und Werst Indien: Mit Beschreibung der selnben Amsterdam, 1633.    


Very good condition. Reinforced at bottom centerfold, light toning else excellent with fine hand color.


OCLC 20170828. Van der Krogt, P. C. J., Koeman's Atlantes Neerlandici, (3 Vols), 8100:1A.