"[Untitled -- Novus Atlas]", Blaeu, Johannes
Subject: Title Pages
Period: 1648 (dated)
Color: Hand Color
9.4 x 16.1 inches
23.9 x 40.9 cm
This handsome title page comes from Blaeu's atlas of British maps. At the top of the page is the leonine Royal Arms of England, capped with a crown, flanked by a lion and Welsh griffin, and enclosed by a banner reading "Honi soit qui mal y pense" (roughly: "Evil unto him who thinks evil of it"). Below is an architectural form with niches inspired by the title page of John Speed's atlas of British maps. Each niche is filled by a figure standing for one of Britain's cultural ancestors: a Roman, a Saxon, a Dane, and a Norman. In the center is the archetypal ancient Briton, tattooed and brandishing a spear. During this period it was customary for the title imprint to be pasted onto the engraving, but on this interesting example it looks as if the title was removed.
References: Shirley (TP) #46A.
Superb original color with gilt highlights on watermarked paper with minor abrasions in the blank title area and remnants of hinge tape on verso.