Insulæ Indiæ Orientalis Præcipuæ, In quibus Moluccae celeberrime sunt by Jodocus Hondius (Amsterdam (1606) 1608 [35cm x 48cm]) is an impressive rendition of the East Indies in the early 17th century. The cartouches, compass roses, and a sea monster give this map a particular charm. However, it is the illustration of an on-going sea battle in the upper right-hand section that makes this map fascinating for historians.
This sea battle was fought in the West Philippine Sea, off the Nasugbu, Batangas coast near Fortune Island in December 1600. The ship on the left is believed to be the Mauritius, captained by Dutchman Olivier van Noort, and the ship on the right is the San Diego, captained by Spaniard Antonio de Morga, then Vice-Governor General of the Philippines. The Mauritius sinks the San Diego and it would be nearly 400 years later, in 1992, before the San Diego is found by French underwater archæologist Franck Goddio. This battle was one of many fought between the Dutch, the Portuguese and the Spanish Empire.
Jodocus Hondius was born in 1563 in Flanders but raised in Ghent. He was a religious refugee in London from 1583 to 1593, when he returned to Amsterdam. After acquiring the plates of Gerard Mercator’s unfinished Atlas in 1604, Hondius published the Mercator Hondius Atlas in 1606, in which this map first appeared. Hondius died in 1612.