Long title: Comitatus Nottinghamiensis (Nottingham Shire). pp 154/153 with French text on verso. Copper engraving with fine original hand colouring. Overall sheet size: 54cms x 43.1cms; image size: 498mm x 384mm. Two spectacular royal coats of arms the lion and unicorn for England and Scotland and the lion and dragon for England and Wales. six armorials with the names of the noblemen underneath, two blank armorials , unsold! Title in highly decorative cartouche bottom left depicting some three maidens and cloak wearing ancient with a scythe ad one curious sheep. Putti surrounding scale of distance bottom right. One pinhole when held up to the light below the highly decorative cartouche left (in between the E and the N of Dabiensis); some v faint speckling in blank areas and some staining to margins which would be covered by a mount and is not offensive anyway, else very good condition .
"As with all productions of the firm of Blaeu, the engraving and layout are all of the highest standard." Rodney Shirley.
Willem Blaeu (1638) was the founder of the Blaeu cartographic dynasty, the finest mapmakers of the Golden Age of Dutch cartography. He studied astronomy and instrument making under Tycho Brahe in his tower at Uranienborg in 1594, before moving to Amsterdam and eventually established a shop in 1605, close to his contemporaries and rivals Johannes Janssonius and Jacob Colom. He was granted a privilege to print a navigational guide in 1606. Two years later, he produced a set of large carte-à-figure wall maps of the four continents and published ‘Het Licht der Zeevaerdt’, a traditional oblong format pilot with coastal profiles to accompany the sailing instructions.
Willem’s sons joined him in the firm, with the eldest Joannes (1598) quickly assuming the lead. Joannes went to university in Leiden, studying mathematics and astronomy. After returning to work for his father, they produced their first atlas together in 1630, the ‘Atlas Appendix’. The title was deliberately chosen to position it as a supplement to the well-respected atlases of Abraham Ortelius and Gerard Mercator, and it mostly contained maps from their stock of plates. Five years later, they produced their ‘Atlas Novus’ with more than twice the number of maps in the ‘Appendix’, which was published in four languages. After Willem died, Joannes expanded the ‘Atlas Novus’ into the ‘Atlas Maior’, the largest and grandest atlas of its time. An edition had between nine and twelve volumes, beautifully engraved and coloured, and cost as much as a house in Amsterdam. He also issued a wall map in 20 sheets in 1648, ‘Nova totius terrarium orbs tabula’. Johannes Blaeu became the official cartographer of the Dutch East India Company. round 1649, Blaeu published a collection of Dutch city maps named Toonneel der Steeden (Views of Cities). In 1651, he was voted into the Amsterdam council. In 1654, Blaeu published the first atlas of Scotland, devised by Timothy Pont. In 1662, he reissued the Atlas Novus, also known as Atlas Maior. However a fire destroyed the studio of Johannes and Cornelius his brother in 1672 and their stock and copper plates were destroyed.
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