Tab. 1. Europea , Continens Albion, Britanniam, et Hiberniam...
MERCATOR, Gerard / HALMA, François

Tab. 1. Europea , Continens Albion, Britanniam, et Hiberniam...

apud Franciscum Halmam
ca. 1695-1704]
Size : 33,5 x 41 cm on sheet 45 x 52 cm
Condition : Restored cracks ; marginal soiling
Technique : Woodcut
Reference : 851-10

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Map of the British Isles by Mercator based on Ptolemy's geography. It illustrates the ancient geography of Great Britain and Ireland, extending to parts of France and Germany in the south. It is adorned with a decorative title cartouche, sailing ships, and a sea monster.

This map was first published in its initial state in Mercator's atlas "Tabulae geographicae CI. Ptolemaei ad mentem autoris restitutae et emendatae per G. Mercatorem," released in 1578. In total, eight editions of this atlas were published between 1578 and 1730.

The present example of the map is from one of the later editions of "Tabulae geographicae," published between 1695 and 1704 by François Halma. It is in its second state, as described by Van der Krogt. The cartography is identical to that of the first state, but a different cartouche has been engraved. In the third state, a graticule was added.

Van der Krogt, I, [0901:1.2]

MERCATOR, Gerard / HALMA, François

Gerard Mercator (1512-1594), originally named Gerard de Cremer, was a renowned 16th-century cartographer born in Rupelmonde near Antwerp. He was called the "Ptolemy of our time" by Abraham Ortelius as he published the first book with the title atlas Tabulae Geographicae mapping the ancient world based on Ptolemy's descriptions. After studying philosophy and mathematics at the University of Leuven, he became proficient in the construction of mathematical instruments, land surveying, and cartography under the guidance of Gemma Frisius. Mercator's career began as an engraver, with his name first appearing on Gemma Frisius's terrestrial and celestial globes in 1537. In 1538, he published his first map, a six-sheet wall map of the Holy Land. Mercator's innovative contributions include the introduction of italic handwriting to cartography and the production of a pair of globes in 1541 and 1551, a format that became standard for centuries.

In 1552, Mercator moved to Duisburg, where he continued his cartographic work and earned a living as a land surveyor. His notable works from this period include the wall map of Europe (1554), the map of Lorraine (c. 1564), the wall map of the British Isles (1564), the famous twenty-one-sheet world map with increasing latitudes (1569), the first book with the title atlas.

Van der Krogt, I, p. 31, 33

François Halma (1653-1722)

In 1687, François Halma was appointed printer-librarian at the University of Utrecht, marking the start of a flourishing career. He also received the title of Printer of the University of Franeker in 1701, and the honor of Printer to the States of Friesland in 1709. Originally from Langerak, today the Dutch municipality of Liesveld, François Halma established himself as a citizen of Utrecht in March 1699 and joined the guild in April of that year. His influence spread to Leeuwarden, where he became a citizen in December 1710 and a member of the guild in February 1711. Beyond his achievements as a printer, Halma left a varied literary legacy, with works of history, poetry and lexicography. On his death, his widow and son Hendrik Halma continued his work, ensuring the continuity of the family tradition in printing and literature.