1628 Mercator & Hondius Large Antique map of Anjou, Maine-et-Loire Region France

Cartographer :Gerald Mercator

Description: 
This beautifully hand coloured original antique map of the French region of Anjou today Maine-et-Loire centering on the city of Angers & Loire River was published in the 1628 French edition of Mercator's Atlas released by Henricus Hondius and Jan Jansson.

Anjou is a historical and cultural region of France, a former French county (in that it was ruled by a count, from c. 880), duchy (1360), and province. Its capital was the city of Angers in the lower Loire Valley. The territory has no very clear geographical borders but instead owes its territory and prominence to the fortunes of its various rulers.
Henry "Curtmantle", count of Anjou, inherited the kingdom of England on October 25, 1154, becoming Henry II. The resulting Angevin Empire would, at its peak, spread from Ulster to the Pyrenees. Henry's son Richard I had no legitimate issue upon his death, so in 1199 Anjou passed to his nephew, Arthur of Brittany (the posthumous son of Henry II’s fourth son Geoffrey), while the Crown of England passed to Henry II’s fifth son and Richard’s youngest brother, John. Count Arthur was taken prisoner by his uncle the king in 1203 and disappeared under suspicious circumstances. In 1205, the county was seized by Philip II Augustus of France. Its status was elevated to that of a duchy for Prince Louis, the second son of Jean II and remained as such until the Revolution. Anjou corresponds largely to the present-day department of Maine-et-Loire.
On 17 February 1332, Philip VI bestowed it on his son John the Good, who, when he became king in turn (22 August 1350), gave the countship to his second son Louis I, raising it to a duchy in the peerage of France by letters patent of 25 October 1360. Louis I, who became in time count of Provence and titular king of Naples, died in 1384, and was succeeded by his son Louis II, who devoted most of his energies to his Neapolitan ambitions, and left the administration of Anjou almost entirely in the hands of his wife, Yolande of Aragon. On his death (29 April 1417), she took upon herself the guardianship of their young son Louis III, and, in her capacity of regent, defended the duchy against the English. Louis III, who also devoted himself to winning Naples, died on 15 November 1434, leaving no children. The duchy of Anjou then passed to his brother René, second son of Louis II and Yolande of Aragon.
Unlike his predecessors, who had rarely stayed long in Anjou, René from 1443 onwards paid long visits to it, and his court at Angers became one of the most brilliant in the kingdom of France. But after the sudden death of his son John in December 1470, René, for reasons which are not altogether clear, decided to move his residence to Provence and leave Anjou for good. After making an inventory of all his possessions, he left the duchy in October 1471, taking with him the most valuable of his treasures. On 22 July 1474 he drew up a will by which he divided the succession between his grandson René II of Lorraine and his nephew Charles II, count of Maine. On hearing this, King Louis XI, who was the son of one of King René's sisters, seeing that his expectations were thus completely frustrated, seized the duchy of Anjou. He did not keep it very long, but became reconciled to René in 1476 and restored it to him, on condition, probably, that René should bequeath it to him. However that may be, on the death of the latter (10 July 1480) he again added Anjou to the royal domain.
Later, King Francis I again gave the duchy as an appanage to his mother, Louise of Savoy, by letters patent of 4 February 1515. On her death, in September 1531, the duchy returned into the king's possession. In 1552 it was given as an appanage by Henry II to his son Henry of Valois, who, on becoming king in 1574, with the title of Henry III, conceded it to his brother Francis, duke of Alençon, at the treaty of Beaulieu near Loches (6 May 1576). Francis died on 10 June 1584, and the vacant appanage definitively became part of the royal domain.
At first Anjou was included in the gouvernement (or military command) of Orléanais, but in the 17th century was made into a separate one. Saumur, however, and the Saumurois, for which King Henry IV had in 1589 created an independent military governor-generalship in favour of Duplessis-Mornay, continued till the Revolution to form a separate gouvernement, which included, besides Anjou, portions of Poitou and Mirebalais. Attached to the généralité (administrative circumscription) of Tours, Anjou on the eve of the Revolution comprised five êlections (judicial districts):--Angers, Baugé, Saumur, Château-Gontier, Montreuil-Bellay and part of the êlections of La Flèche and Richelieu. Financially it formed part of the so-called pays de grande gabelle, and comprised sixteen special tribunals, or greniers à sel (salt warehouses):--Angers, Baugé, Beaufort, Bourgueil, Candé, Château-Gontier, Cholet, Craon, La Flèche, Saint-Florent-le-Vieil, Ingrandes, Le Lude, Pouancé, Saint-Rémy-la-Varenne, Richelieu, Saumur. From the point of view of purely judicial administration, Anjou was subject to the parlement of Paris; Angers was the seat of a presidial court, of which the jurisdiction comprised the sénéchaussées of Angers, Saumur, Beaugé, Beaufort and the duchy of Richelieu; there were besides presidial courts at Château-Gontier and La Flèche. When the Constituent Assembly, on 26 February 1790, decreed the division of France into départments, Anjou and the Saumurois, with the exception of certain territories, formed the départment of Maine-et-Loire, as at present constituted.
After the sale of Mercator's plates to in 1605, Hondius continued to publish the original plates with little alteration until 1630 when along with Jansson many of the original plates were altered or re-engraved either decoratively or topographically or both. This map is from one of the last unaltered editions of Mercator's atlas. (Ref: Koeman, Tooley)

Condition Report
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable
Paper color: - off white
Age of map color: - Early
Colors used: - Red, yellow, green
General color appearance: - Authentic
Paper size: - 21in x 17in (535mm x 430mm)
Plate size: - 18 1/2in x 14in (470mm x 355mm)
Margins: - Min 1/2in (12mm)

Imperfections:
Margins: - Light age toning
Plate area: - Light age toning
Verso: - Light age toning

$275.00