Guiana sive Amazonum Regio

1631 W. Blaeu Amazon with large legendary Lake Parima and mythical Incan city of gold

Cartographer(s): Willem Blaeu
Date: 1631
Place: Amsterdam
Dimensions: 49.3 x 37.6 cm (19.4 x 14.8 in)
Condition Rating: VG

Out of stock

SKU: NL-00154 Category:

Description

Blaeu’s beautiful map of Guiana covers the coastline from the Isla Margarita in the northwest to the coast of northern Brazil near Sao Luis east of the Amazon delta. At center lies a large inland sea, Parime Lacus; on its northwestern shore is the fabled city Manoa del Dorado, or the golden city of the Incas. The search for this city led many explorers, including Sir Walter Raleigh, on wild adventures through the jungles.

The map is beautifully decorated with three cartouches, ships engaged in a sea battle, a sea monster, and a fine compass rose.

Verso text: Latin.

Cartographer(s):

Willem Blaeu

Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571-1638) was a one of the most important Dutch geographers and mapmakers of the 17th century. He was born the son of a herring merchant, but traded fish-mongering for studies in mathematics and astronomy. Blaeu’s first important breakthrough was winning apprenticeship with the famous Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe. Working at Brahe’s Uranienborg observatory on the island of Hven, Blaeu learned a wide range of disciplines and technical skills. These included mathematics and astronomy, but also instrument-making and more esoteric disciplines such as alchemy. Returning to his native Holland, Blaeu set up a publishing business in Amsterdam from which 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 his death in 1638.

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

A fine impression with minor show-through of text on verso and a couple of short edge tears in the bottom blank margin that have been closed on verso with archival materials. Remnants of hinge tape on verso.

References

Van der Krogt (Vol. II) #9840:2.2.