1639 Hondius Antique Map of Brazil, South America

Cartographer : Henricus Hondius

This beautifully hand coloured original antique map of Brazil was engraved by Henricus Hondius and published in the 1639 French edition of Mercators Atlas by Jan Jansson and Henricus Hondius.
These maps, published in the later editions of Mercators atlas, are derived from the original maps drawn and engraved by Gerald Mercator in the mid to late 16th century, published by his son Rumold as an atlas, after his death, in 1595. After two editions the plates were purchased by Jodocus Hondius in 1604 and continued to be published until the mid 1630's when the plates were re-engraved and updated by Jan Jansson and Henricus Hondius.

Oriented west to the top of the plate, this general map of Brazil by Jansson is more decorative than the one published by Joan Blaeu four years earlier but the topographical details are distinctly Blaeu's. Plagiarism by these two from each other was by this stage not just blatant but almost expected. Dutch attempts to found an empire in South America began in 1624 with an attack on Bahia (Salvador), the natural harbour at Bahia d'torres os Santos. An inset of the bay is included at the top of the map. The attack was unsuccessful and the Netherlands West India Company made another successful attempt in 1630, this time at Olinda de Pernambuco (Recife) further North near the North Eastern most point of Brazil, an inset is also included of Pernambuco.

At the height of their power in Brazil, when the Dutch controlled or influenced four of the seven Portuguese governorships in Brazil under the leadership of Johann Mauritis Van Nassau-Siegen, much  of the trade of North Eastern Brazil was in the hands of the Company acting on the assumption that it had the right to trade - and to make war - with Spain and Portugal in the Americas.

However the Dutch never quite succeeded in bringing the Portuguese colonists in the region under their control. Johan Maurits, during his governorship which lasted from 1637 - 1644, never ceased to warn his superior in the Netherlands that unless they sent out Protestant settlers t replace the Roman Catholic Portuguese settlers, the latter would always remain Portuguese at heart, and would ultimately revolt against the Dutch at the earliest opportunity.

Johan Maurits's fears came to pass in 1645, and the Luso-Dutch war which followed, many senior Dutch officials who had married Portuguese wives, turned their allegiances towards Portugal, leading to the final expulsion of the Dutch from Brazil in 1644. (Ref: Koeman; M&B; Tooley)

Condition Report:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy & stable
Paper color: - off white
Age of map color: - Original
Colors used: - Yellow, pink, green
General color appearance: - Authentic
Paper size: - 22 1/2in x 19in (570mm x 490mm)
Plate size: - 19 1/2in x 15 1/2in (490mm x 390mm)
Margins: - Min 1in (25mm)

Margins: - None
Plate area: - Light creasing
Verso: - None