This splendid world map is one of the most elegantly engraved maps from the Dutch golden age of cartography. Presented in two hemispheres, it is beautifully decorated with the figures of Mercator and Ptolemy along with a host of celestial beings in the clouds above the map. Allegorical representations of the four seasons, seated in chariots quaintly drawn by pairs of beasts and birds, are arrayed across the bottom. The map is based on his important wall map of 1648, but updated with a different interpretation of the island of California, the northern part of which is labeled Nova Albion and with Pt. Sr. Franco Draco located. The small partial coastline of Anian appears on the northwest coast of North America. Blaeu's unique representation of the Great Lakes region consisting of a single, large lake dominates the region west of the British colonies. The explorations of Tasman are evident in the Pacific, where two coastlines of New Zealand are delineated. The eastern coastline of Asia is severely truncated, Korea appears as an island, and the interior of China is dominated by large spurious lakes. Australia is partially mapped based on the Dutch explorations in the region. This map is much rarer than Blaeu's carte-a-figures world map that appeared in the Blaeu atlases prior to 1662. It was prepared for the eleven-volume Atlas Maior, first published in a Dutch text edition in 1658-61. It then appeared in Latin, French, German and Spanish editions up until the destruction of the Bleau printing works in a fire in 1672. Blank verso.
References: Shirley #428; Van der Krogt (Vol. II) #0001:2B.
A crisp impression with superb full original color. Issued folding with several fold separations that have been closed on verso with archival material and narrow margins. Remnants of hinge tape on verso.