Date: Circa 1646
Fine copper engraving with original hand colouring. French text on verso. Pp 177-178 verso. Overall size: 54cms x 41.8cms. Image size: 502mm x 383mm. Title cartouche supported by academic figures, centre below, royal arms above, a column of college arms at each side,Image of Stonehenge within text on verso coloured green by a later hand and this has resulted in a browning in top right blank. Title cartouche supported by academic figures, bottom centre, royal arms above, a column of college arms at each side with their founding dates, namely: University Colledge 872 / Merton Colledge 1274 /Oriall Colledge 1323 /New Colledge 1375 /All Soules Coll 1437 /Brasenose Coll 1513 /Christus Church 1546 /Saint Johns Coll 1557 (left coloumn). Right column: Balliol Colledge 1264 /Exeter Colledge 1340 /Queenes Colledge 1340 /Lincolne Colledge 1420 /Magdalen Coll 1459 /Corpus Christi Coll 15116 /Trinitie Colledge 1556 /Jesus Colledge (no date). Apart from the aforementioned browning at top right blank, beautiful original hand colouring in very good condition.
Willem Blaeu (1571-1638) founded the family business in 1596. It initially functioned as a globe and instrument makers, but soon expanded into maps, topography and sea charts. The acquisition of thirty-eight copper plates from the estate of Jodocus Hondius in 1662 together with twenty-two of his own maps enabled Blaeu to produce his first atlas, the 'Atlas Appendix' in 1630. The Atlas Novus was Willem’s great work. It was a major work which was intended to include the most up-to-date maps of the entire world. He issued the first two volumes in 1635, but died in 1638 before the atlas was completed. The running of the business was passed on to his sons Johannes (c.1596-1673) and Cornelius, as was his role of the official cartographer of the East India Company. After the death of Cornelius in 1644, Johannes continued the business alone and established his own reputation as a great mapmaker. Johannes completed his father's grand project, culminating in 1658 in the production of the famous 'Atlas Major', regarded as one of the greatest achievements in the history of cartography. The county maps of England and Wales formed volume four of Blaeu's great atlas, this volume being first published in 1645 and re-issued without any alterations in 1662 as the fifth volume instead of the fourth.
The Blaeu family were one of the most esteemed and successful publishers of maps, globes and atlases during the seventeenth-century. Cartographers, globe makers and booksellers, the Blaeu business prospered in Amsterdam for
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