Jodocus Hondius Jr. (1593 – 1629) & Michael Sparke (c. 1586 – 1653) & Samuel Cartwright (life dates unknown)
Jodocus Hondius Jr. was a Flemish engraver, cartographer and publisher. He took over the name from his father who used the latinized version of his Dutch name Joost de Hondt. To distinguish both, they are called „Sr.“ or „Elder“ and „Jr.“ or „II“ respectively in the literature.
Jodocus Hondius the Elder (1553 – 1612) was one of the most notable figures in the Golden Age of Dutch cartography (c. 1570s – 1670s). He grew up in Ghent and already in his early years established himself as an engraver, instrument maker and globemaker. To escape religious difficulties in Flanders, he moved to London in 1584 where he married Colette van den Keere three years later and collaborated with her brother Pieter, also a mapmaker and engraver. In 1593 Hondius moved to Amsterdam. In 1604 he purchased the plates of Gerardus Mercator’s famous „Atlas“ and republished it with additional maps. Though he used more and more his own plates he gave Mercator full credit as the author of the work, listing himself only as the publisher. As a small atlas „Epitome“, published by Ortelius, became a big success there was an economical need to produce an easier to handle and cheaper version of the Mercator atlas. Therefore Hondius created the „Atlas Minor“ which was first published in 1607. The plates were later used – with different headings – by Samuel Purchas/Henry Featherstone in 1625 and Michael Sparke/Samuel Cartwright in 1635.
After the death Jodocus Hondius the Elder his widow Colette, with seven underage children, carried on running the publishing house using the signboard „de wackere hond“(the watching dog). In 1619 she passed the business to their sons Henricus (1587 – 1638) and Jodocus Jr. (1593 – 1629). Following his father‘s footsteps Jodocus Hondius the Younger immediately began to publish under his own name, before opening his own business in „op den Dam“ (Dam Square) in 1621. Even after going separate ways the brothers jointly owned the copper plates for their father‘s globe which they continued to publish together until after 1627. In 1629 Jodocus Hondius II. set out to publish his own atlas, featuring maps that were not included in the Mercator-Hondius Atlas. This new atlas was in direct competition with his father‘s famed work which was still published by Henricus Hondius‘ publishing house. After the untimely death of Jodocus Hondius the Younger in 1629 the publisher mark of the watching dog was no longer seen. Finally their brother-in-law, the afterwards well-known publisher Johannes Janssonius (1588 – 1664) took over the plates and his name appears on the „Atlas“ as co-publisher since 1633.
Michael Sparke and Samuel Cartwright were London publishers. Amongst their works is the English version of Mercator/Hondius‘ „Atlas Minor“ under the name „Historia Mundi or Mercator‘s Atlas. Containing his Cosmographicall Description of the Fabricke and Figure of the World… with new Mappes and Tables; By the studious industry of Iodocus Hondy“, published in 1635 (re-printed 1637 and 1638). Nothing more is known about the lives of Sparke and Cartwright.
This very rare map from „Historia Mundi“, printed by T. Cotes, was originally published in the Mercator/Hondius „Atlas Minor“ of 1607. It is very similar to „Hondius his map of Island“ published by Purchas/Featherstone in 1625. The only difference is the word „Iseland“ to the left of the map. Due to the booksize the map had to be turned to the right with the west now at top. To make it easier for the reader to identify the map shown, the typographical head title „Iseland“ in bold letters was added.
The map is decorated with a strapwork title cartouche („Island“) in the lower left corner and a distance scale cartouche in the lower right corner. The sea is stipple engraved and includes a spouting sea monster. The interior of Iceland is filled with mountains, lakes and numerous place-names, amongst them the bishoprics Skalholt, described „Episcopalis sedes schola“ and Holar („Halar“). The fire-spewing Hekla is described in Latin: „Mons perpetuo ardens“ which suggests that the volcano was constantly active at the time.