Mr. Vignaud's Maps: Unraveling a Cartographic Mystery from the Golden Age of Dutch Cartography

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Atlantis Maioris Appendix of 1630 (MS2)

Nova Europae Descriptio

Jansson, Jan, and Jodocus Hondius. Nova Evropae Descriptio. Amstelodam: Jan Jansson, 1630.

The most exciting discovery made during the course of this project was the realization that one of our reassembled groupings matched an atlas, the Atlantis Maioris Appendix, published by Johannes Janssonius in 1630. There are only five known copies of this atlas in collections around the world. However, the edition found amongst Henry Vignaud’s maps, colloquially referred to as “Manuscript Style 2” or “Ms2,” is an exclusive copy that was compiled after 1634. Clark Library owns 35 of the 80 maps found in Janssonius’s Atlantis Maioris Appendix and the fifth map in the volume is owned by the William L. Clements Library, as well as possibly a second map from this volume. 

Germaniae post omnes in hac forma editiones exactissima locupletissimaque descriptio

Jansson, Jan, and Claes Jansz. Visscher. Germaniae: Post Omnes In Hoc Forma. [Amsterdam ]: Ianssen Visscher, 1634.

At some point during the lifetime of these maps someone wrote manuscript numbers in the upper right corner of the versos. The sequence of these numbers matches the collation found in Peter van der Krogt’s description of the 1630 atlas in Koeman’s Atlantes Neerlandici.

There is one map in the Clark’s Atlantis Maioris Appendix that makes this set of maps unique from other editions of this atlas. The Clark copy includes the map Germaniae Post Omnes in hac Forma Editiones Exactissima Locupletissimaque Descriptio, which was printed in 1634. The inclusion of this map suggests that this particular group of maps was not produced and bound until somewhere after 1634.

Duche de Bretaigne

Jansson, Jan, and Claude Hardy. Duche De Bretaigne. Amsterdam: Henry Hondius, 1630.

This would not have been uncommon as atlases of time varied significantly. Publishing houses would produce piles of specific maps, which would be compiled into an atlas, sometimes by the design of the publisher and sometimes on request of a patron. When a certain map ran out, another of similar geographic area would replace it. It appears that this was the case for the Clark’s Atlantis Maioris Appendix.

As with the other reassembled atlases in Vignaud’s collections, certain environmental effects found on the maps help to differentiate this set from others and imply that the maps were bound together at some point during the course of their lifetimes. Fourteen of the maps found in this grouping bear significant water damage in the upper left and right corners of the maps.


La Principaute d'Orange et Comtat de Venaissin

Jansson, Jan, and Hendrik Hondius. La Principauté D'Orange Et Comtat De Venaissin. [Amsterdam , 1630.]

The water damage was so extensive that it led to parts of the paper disintegrating and requiring considerable conservation care on some of the maps. Lesser extents of damage can be found throughout the remainder of the atlas. The water stains found throughout the atlas indicates that the maps were bound together at the time of damage. Similarly, a handful of the maps in the atlas bear the same type of staining that is found in Ms1, suggesting that these maps were stored vertically and closed when they were stained with mouse urine. However, the stains left behind are noticeably different than those found in Ms1.