Willem Blaeu’s elegant mid-17th-century map of England and Wales.

Anglia Regnum.

$550

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SKU: NL-00260 Category:
Cartographer(s): Willem Blaeu
Date: 1645
Place: Amsterdam
Dimensions: 38.5 x 49.8 cm (15.25 x 19.5 in)
Condition Rating: VG

Description

Attractive map of England and Wales, introduced by Willem Blaeu in advance of a similar map by his rivals, Hondius and Jansson. The outline and place names are based on Speed.

The map is decorated with four ships, a scale of miles flanked by sheep and a cherub, and two richly colored coats of arms, of Great Britain and of England, above the title cartouche.

Verso Text: French.

Cartographer(s):

Willem Blaeu

Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571-1638) was one of the most important Dutch geographers and mapmakers of the 17th century. He was born the son of a herring merchant but traded fishmongering for studies in mathematics and astronomy. Blaeu’s first important breakthrough was winning an apprenticeship with the famous Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe. Working at Brahe’s Uranienborg observatory on the island of Hven, Blaeu learned various disciplines and technical skills. These included mathematics, astronomy, instrument-making, and more esoteric disciplines such as alchemy. Returning to his native Holland, Blaeu established a publishing business in Amsterdam. He sold instruments and globes, printed maps, and his own editions of some of the great philosophical works of contemporary intellectuals like Descartes and Hugo Grotius. Achieving notoriety as a cartographic pioneer, Blaeu was appointed Chief Hydrographer to the powerful Dutch East India Company, a position he held until he died in 1638.

When Willem died, his sons Cornelis (1610-1648) and Joan (1596-1673) took over the business. Joan had originally trained as a lawyer but never took up the practice, preferring to work on maps with his father. After Willem’s death, Joan continued publishing his father’s and his own maps. He also assumed his father’s position as a hydrographer for the Dutch East India Company. Towards the end of his life, Joan would dramatically expand his father’s Atlas Novus (1635), turning it into his own masterpiece, the Atlas Maior (1662-72).

When Willem died, his two sons Cornelis (1610-1648) and Joan (1596-1673) took over the business. Joan had originally trained as a lawyer, but never took up practice, preferring to work on maps with his father. After Willem’s death, Joan continued to publish both his father’s and his own maps. He also assumed his father’s position as hydrographer for the Dutch East India Company. Towards the end of his life, Joan would dramatically expand his father’s Atlas Novus (1635), turning it into his own masterpiece, the Atlas Maior (1662-72).

Condition Description

Very good condition. Paper repair in lower margin; fine or nearly so. Thinly backed.

References

Shirley, Early printed maps of British Isles, 440.