Blaeu's Stunning Carte-a-Figures Map of the Americas
"Americae Nova Tabula", Blaeu, Willem
Subject: Western Hemisphere - America
Period: 1640 (circa)
Publication: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum
Color: Hand Color
22 x 16.3 inches
55.9 x 41.4 cm
This stunning carte-a-figures map is a superb example of the fine art of decorative cartography and a seventeenth-century European view of the New World. The coastal outlines generally follow Ortelius and Wytfliet with nomenclature from a variety of explorers and colonists. Panels at sides, each with five portraits of the native inhabitants, were taken from John White (Virginia), Hans Staden (Brazil) and other early explorer's accounts. Across the top are nine town plans including Havana, St. Domingo, Cartegena, Mexico City, Cusco, Potosi, I. la Mocha in Chile, Rio de Janeiro and Olinda in Brazil. This is one of the few maps of the Americas by this famous Dutch cartographer. The map itself is similar to Blaeu's wall map of 1608 with the additional discoveries of Henry Hudson in North America, and Tierra del Fuego with Le Maire Strait. This is the fifth state of the plate with the imprint changed to Auct: Guiljelmo Blaeuw and some re-engraving of the sea surrounding the ships and sea monsters. Latin text on verso, published between 1640-55.
References: Burden #189; Goss (Blaeu) p. 156; Tooley (Amer) p. 297; Van der Krogt (Vol. II) #9000:2.
Nice old color with a mat burn in the blank margins and moderate overall toning, causing some stiffness in the paper. Backed with light Japanese tissue repairing some tears in the blank margins and one tear that just enters a border vignette at right.