"[Lot of 2] Nova Zemla [and] I. Ordinum Vulgo Staten Eyland [on verso] I. Mauritius", Blaeu, Johannes
Subject: Russia, Novaya Zemlya
Period: 1672 (published)
Publication: Atlas Maior
Color: Hand Color
19.5 x 15 inches
49.5 x 38.1 cm
These scarce maps of Novaya Zemlya were only published in Blaeu's Atlas Maior. They were drawn from Linschoten and Barents' description of their explorations of the Arctic Sea (1594-97) in search of a Northeast Passage to Asia. The map of Nova Zemla (19.5 x 15") shows the Russian coastline and the western coastline of Novaya Zemlya. Barents' stranded ship and winter camp of 1596 are depicted at the north end of the island. On the verso is a beautiful illustration of walruses (8.2 x 7.2"). The accompanying leaf contains a small map (9.6 x 6..6") of Vaygach Island (Staten Eyland) and the Yugorsky Strait. It is decorated by a small scene of a polar bear attacking two explorers. On the verso is a map (9.7 x 6.5") of the island of Mauritius; an island we can’t identify, but the text identifies as being near Vaygach. The locations of several crosses with runic characters are noted, along with an illustration of one of the crosses. These are from the Spanish edition of 1672, the final work of the famous Blaeu publishing house that was destroyed by fire at the time this edition was being published.
Superb original color, heightened with gold leaf, with some offsetting. The bottom centerfold is separated in the blank margin of the folio map.