Gorgeous old color example of Blaeu's classic world map on Mercator's projection, first issued in 1606. One of the supreme examples of the mapmaker's art. The map is reduced from Blaeu's wall mpa of 1605. The figures include Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. The side panels show the four elements and the four seasons. At the bottom are the seven wonders of the world. The first 3 states are rare. The map incorporates some of the classic early 17th Century cartographic misconceptions, including the elongated NW Coast of America, massive southern hemisphere with narrow strait between it and South America, incomplete New Guinea attached to large southern continent, etc. A gorgeous old color example, with an unusually strong image. A bit of foxing on the verso. German Text on the verso. A near flawless example. Shirley 255.
Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571-1638) was a prominent Dutch geographer and publisher. Born the son of a herring merchant, Blaeu chose not fish but mathematics and astronomy for his focus. He studied with the famous Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, with whom he honed his instrument and globe making skills. Blaeu set up shop in Amsterdam, where he sold instruments and globes, published maps, and edited the works of intellectuals like Descartes and Hugo Grotius. In 1635, he released his atlas, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, sive, Atlas novus.
Willem died in 1638. He had two sons, Cornelis (1610-1648) and Joan (1596-1673). Joan trained as a lawyer, but joined his father’s business rather than practice. After his father’s death, the brothers took over their father’s shop and Joan took on his work as hydrographer to the Dutch East India Company. Later in life, Joan would modify and greatly expand his father’s Atlas novus, eventually releasing his masterpiece, the Atlas maior, between 1662 and 1672.