Catalog Archive
Auction 150, Lot 371

Unique Example with an Interesting Printing Error

"Guiana sive Amazonum Regio", Blaeu, Willem

Subject: Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana

Period: 1642 (circa)

Publication: Toonneel des Aerdrycx, oft Nieuwe Atlas

Color: Hand Color

19.4 x 14.7 inches
49.3 x 37.3 cm
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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. Dutch text on verso, published between 1642-64.

This is a fascinating and rare example, in which the publisher accidentally printed Blaeu's map of Guinea on the sheet. After realizing the mistake, he printed the correct map of Guiana on a separate sheet, and then carefully pasted it over the map of Guinea. When holding this map up to the light, the underlying map can clearly be seen hiding behind the pastedown. This unique piece gives insight into the complexity of the printing process and the high cost of reprinting sheets. One can image that perhaps the copper plates were organized alphabetically by title!

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

Condition: A

A nice impression and original color on a sound sheet with wide margins. There is minor show-through of the <i>Guinea</i> map. The bottom corner of the pastedown, extending just a bit into the map border, was torn off and reattached, most likely during the printing process.

Estimate: $350 - $425

Sold for: $180

Closed on 9/17/2014