Auction 171, Lot 17

Very Rare Second State of Blaeu's Cartographic Masterpiece

"Nova Totius Terrarum Orbis Geographica ac Hydrographica Tabula", Blaeu, Willem

Subject: World

Period: 1606 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

21.2 x 16 inches
53.8 x 40.6 cm

A magnificent map featuring a carte-a-figures border with allegorical representations of the sun, the moon, the five known planets, the four elements and the four seasons. Along the bottom are vignettes showing the seven wonders of the world: the Hanging Gardens of Babylon; the Colossus straddling the harbor at Rhodes; the Pyramids; the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus in Bodrum, Turkey; the Temple of Diana; the Statue of Jupiter; and the lighthouse at Alexandria. Josua van Ende engraved this map, reducing it from Blaeu's 1605 wall map for inclusion in atlases.

Petrus Plancius' world map of 1592 was the main source of geographical information. The map is shown on Mercator's projection with a massive Southern Continent attached to New Guinea, with the coastal names of Beach and Psittacorum regio noted from Marco Polo's travel memoirs. North America has the westward bulge characteristic of the time, with the Strait of Anian noted. Korea is shown as an island and Japan is in a kite-like shape. The map itself is richly decorated with cartouches, sea battles, monsters and compass roses.

This is the very rare second state with Terra del Fogo (Tierra del Fuego) still shown attached to the Southern Continent and the date included in the lower cartouche at lower right. Blaeu's imprint follows his early patronym "Janszoon" and is shown after the title as well as in the cartouche at lower right. Blank verso, published separately circa 1606-16.

Provenance: Purchased in 1943 from the former rare book and map dealer, Paul B. Victorius, in Charlottesville, Virginia.

References: Goss (Blaeu) #1; Shirley #255; Van der Krogt (Vol. II) #00001:2A.

Condition: B+

A sharp impression with minor soiling on paper with the watermark of a simple coat of arms with a diagonal line. There are professional repairs to a few short separations along the centerfold, some tiny tears confined to the blank margins, and a tear that enters 3.5" into the image at bottom center, just to the left of the centerfold (through the vignette of the Mausoleum).

Estimate: $15,000 - $20,000

Sold for: $9,000

Closed on 2/6/2019