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1630 Cloppenburg and Mercator Map of Bermuda

Mappa Aestivarum Insularum Alias Bermudas Dictarum ad Ostia Mexicane … - Main View

1630 Cloppenburg and Mercator Map of Bermuda


Uncommon early map of Bermuda.


Mappa Aestivarum Insularum Alias Bermudas Dictarum ad Ostia Mexicane …
  1630 (undated)     8 x 10.5 in (20.32 x 26.67 cm)     1 : 154880


A scarce c. 1630 small format map of Bermuda by Johannes Cloppenburg. Based upon an earlier maps by Gerard Mercator and John Speed, this map shows the whole of Bermuda. Around the edges of the map parts of neighboring islands and the mainland of North America peak out - although admittedly wildly out of proportion to the size of Bermuda. These include Virginia (really modern day North Carolina / Cape Hatteras), Cape Cod (which peaks out from top center), New England (Upper right), and Hispaniola, lower left. Bermuda itself follows the conventions set down on the famous John Speed / Norwood map wherein various tribes are identified throughout. Some of the surrounding coral reefs are also noted. The title cartouche appears in the bottom right. Upper left and lows left quadrants feature distance scales. This map was engraved by Pieter van den Keere for the c. 1630 Cloppenburg edition of Mercator's Atlas Minor Since the Cloppenburg edition failed to attract public interest, it had a short print run, leading all of its maps be exceptionally uncommon.


Johannes Cloppenburgh (fl. c. 1610 - 1644) was a Dutch cartographer active in Amsterdam during the early 17th century. Cloppenburgh was associated with the Hondius Firm and is generally credited with the 1630 edition of the Mercator / Hondius / Jansson Atlas Minor. He is also identified on some map imprints as Cloppenburg, H. Jan Evertsz, and Johannes Everhardus. Cloppenburgh is a somewhat elusive figure of whom little is known. The cartographer should not be confused with the German theologian of the same name and period. More by this mapmaker...

Gerard Mercator (March 5, 1512 - December 2, 1594) is a seminal figure in the history of cartography. Mercator was born near Antwerp as Gerard de Cremere in Rupelmonde. He studied Latin, mathematics, and religion in Rupelmonde before his Uncle, Gisbert, a priest, arranged for him to be sent to Hertogenbosch to study under the Brothers of the Common Life. There he was taught by the celebrated Dutch humanist Georgius Macropedius (Joris van Lanckvelt; April 1487 - July 1558). It was there that he changed him name, adapting the Latin term for 'Merchant', that is 'Mercator'. He went on to study at the University of Louvain. After some time, he left Louvain to travel extensively, but returned in 1534 to study mathematics under Gemma Frisius (1508 - 1555). He produced his first world map in 1538 - notable as being the first to represent North America stretching from the Arctic to the southern polar regions. This impressive work earned him the patronage of the Emperor Charles V, for whom along with Van der Heyden and Gemma Frisius, he constructed a terrestrial globe. He then produced an important 1541 globe - the first to offer rhumb lines. Despite growing fame and imperial patronage, Mercator was accused of heresy and in 1552. His accusations were partially due to his Protestant faith, and partly due to his travels, which aroused suspicion. After being released from prison with the support of the University of Louvain, he resumed his cartographic work. It was during this period that he became a close fried to English polymath John Dee (1527 - 1609), who arrived in Louvain in 1548, and with whom Mercator maintained a lifelong correspondence. In 1552, Mercator set himself up as a cartographer in Duisburg and began work on his revised edition of Ptolemy's Geographia. He also taught mathematics in Duisburg from 1559 to 1562. In 1564, he became the Court Cosmographer to Duke Wilhelm of Cleve. During this period, he began to perfect the novel projection for which he is best remembered. The 'Mercator Projection' was first used in 1569 for a massive world map on 18 sheets. On May 5, 1590 Mercator had a stroke which left him paralyzed on his left side. He slowly recovered but suffered frustration at his inability to continue making maps. By 1592, he recovered enough that he was able to work again but by that time he was losing his vision. He had a second stroke near the end of 1593, after which he briefly lost speech. He recovered some power of speech before a third stroke marked his end. Following Mercator's death his descendants, particularly his youngest son Rumold (1541 - December 31, 1599) completed many of his maps and in 1595, published his Atlas. Nonetheless, lacking their father's drive and genius, the firm but languished under heavy competition from Abraham Ortelius. It was not until Mercator's plates were purchased and republished (Mercator / Hondius) by Henricus Hondius II (1597 - 1651) and Jan Jansson (1588 - 1664) that his position as the preeminent cartographer of the age was re-established. Learn More...

Pieter van den Keere (1571 - c. 1646) was a Dutch engraver and cartographer active in London and Amsterdam in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Keere, who is alternatively known as Kaerius or Coerius, was born in Gent, the son of printer and type founder Hendric van den Keere. Religious persecution in the Low Countries forced Keere, with many others, to take refuge in London, where they established themselves. There Keere married the sister of Jodocus Hondius, also a refugee in London, and it was most likely through Jodocus that he mastered engraving and mapmaking. Keere is responsible for numerous maps, most of which are associated with the Hondius firm. Some of his most notable works include numerous county maps of the British Isles that were later compiled into Camden's Britannia. Keere also engraved many of the maps included in the Jansson Atlas Minor. Learn More...


Mercator, G, Atlas Minor, (Amsterdam: Cloppenburg) 1630.     The Atlas Minor by Johannes Cloppenburg was first published in 1630. Cloppenburg's atlas competed with three other 'minor' versions of Mercator's Atlas. Cloppenburg's Atlas Minor consisted of reduced versions of Mercator's groundbreaking maps, most of which were engraved by Pieter van den Keere. The Cloppenburg edition was the largest and most complete of the three miniature atlases, but nonetheless proved the least popular. Some have speculated that, seeing a rival for his own smaller Atlas Minor, Johannes Janssonius acquired and suppressed the Cloppenburg plates. They plates later reappeared in 1735 when they were updated and republished by Henri du Sauzet as the Atlas Portatif.


Very good. Original platemark visible. Remarkable nearly invisible older repair lower right corner. Latin text on verso.