Catalog Archive
Auction 181, Lot 704

"Novus Atlas Sinensis a Martino Martinio Soc. Iesu Descriptus et Serenmo. Archiduci Leopoldo Guilielmo Austriaco Dedicatus", Blaeu, Johannes

Subject: Title Pages

Period: 1655 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

10.2 x 16.3 inches
25.9 x 41.4 cm
Download High Resolution Image
(or just click on image to launch the Zoom viewer)

This exquisite title page comes from the standalone edition of Blaeu's atlas on China. The title appears on a door to an open portal, inviting the reader to enter into an unfamiliar landscape. In the foreground, putti hold a map of China and make measurements on a globe within the continent of Asia. Across the top of the map is an elaborate scene symbolizing the efforts of the Jesuits in the Far East. It depicts the light of Jesus reflected by a mirror in the hands of the Pope and igniting a torch held by a putto. A quote from Isiah 18:2 runs above the holy beam of light: "Go, swift messengers, to a nation powerful but divided."

References: Shirley (TP) #53A; Van der Krogt (Vol. II) #2:26B.

Condition: B

A crisp impression in contemporary color with gilt highlights. There are a few small abrasions and a large light dampstain at right. There are archival repairs to three short cracks caused by oxidation of green pigment and to a few small chips in the right margin.

Estimate: $325 - $400

Sold for: $240

Closed on 2/10/2021