Blaeu's Stunning Carte-a-Figures Map of the Americas in Full Contemporary Color
"Americae Nova Tabula", Blaeu, Willem
Subject: Western Hemisphere - America
Period: 1640 (published)
Publication: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum
Color: Hand Color
21.9 x 16.3 inches
55.6 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 third state of the plate with the imprint changed to Auct: Guiljelmo Blaeuw. Latin text on verso, published in 1640.
References: Burden #189; Goss (Blaeu) p. 156; Tooley (Amer) p. 297; Van der Krogt (Vol. II) #9000:2.
A crisp impression with full contemporary color on paper with a "V" watermark. This example was issued folding at the sides. There is light toning along the centerfold and edges of the sheet, minor soiling and offsetting, and an archivally repaired fold separation that just passes the neatline at top left. Small remnants of hinge tape on verso.