Auction 108, Lot 46

"Regiones Sub Polo Arctico", Blaeu, Willem

Subject: North Pole

Period: 1680 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

20.6 x 16 inches
52.3 x 40.6 cm

This is one of the prototype maps of the Arctic. It incorporates new information from the explorations of Capt. Thomas James with the bay named for him labeled here James his Bay. The Arctic coast of Russia provides information from Willem Barentsz' voyage and Spitsbergen is shown according to the Danish expedition of James Hall. It depicts rhumb lines radiating from the North Pole. A large title cartouche, with two figures and numerous wind heads, conveniently hides the northwest coast of America. The map is further decorated with several compass roses, ships and an additional cartouche that features men in parkas, a polar bear and foxes. Dedication to Guilielmo Backer de Corneliis (signed by Joan Blaeu), which indicates this issue is from the second state of the plate. There is no text on back indicating it was issued after the demise of the great Blaeu publishing empire, as this was among the plates auctioned in 1677 following the fire that destroyed the printing house.

References: Goss (Blaeu) #2.

Condition: A

Fine old color with a bit of very faint foxing, but overall very good. Professional tissue repairs in blank margins, reinforced centerfold and paper added in left margin to accommodate framing.

Estimate: $950 - $1,100

Sold for: $1,000

Closed on 9/29/2004