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Extremely rare sea chart of the area between Harrlingen on the mainland of the Dutch Coast in the North and Texel and Medemblick in the south, showing waterway in route to Amsterdam from he North Sea, published by Louis Vlasbloem in Amsterdam.

Vlasbloem's published several books of Sea Charts for the Dutch and English Markets, from about 1646 to 1660. His works were available to and apparently heavily used by common mariners working the seas between Holland and the Bitish Isles, asall of his works are extremely rare and most survive in various states of damage and disrepair. For example, there are only 3 or 4 known examples of his North Zea . . . , none of which is complete. It is possible that the present map was included in Vlasbloem's Nieuwe lees-kaert, dat is de westersche schipvaert, ofte loots-mans wegh-wijser, inhoudende; alle de zee-custen van de Zuyder-Zee, Hollandt, Zeelandt, ... However, because most of his works are known in only 1 or 2 examples, it is not possible to know the appearnces of each of the maps.

We speculate that the present map derives from this source because it was acquired at the same time as we were able to locate 2 other charts by Vlasbloem which were suspect were bound into the same work, but because of the rarity of his works, it is impossible to know with certainty whether these charts were bound into other contemporary works by Vlasbloem which did not survive. Most instructive is the cataloguing for the Wardington copy of Vlasbloem's The North Zea (now in the collection of William Ginsburg), which was apparently so rare that no illustration or description of the maps existed at the time the book was catalogued by Sothebys, in order to allow it to recognize that one of the first map in the book was only half present. The Sothebys entry would seem to have been the same erroneous description of Wardington's copy which was given in 1993 when it was catalogued by Christies and sold to Nico Israel, who in turn sold the book to Wardington.

The Library of Congress only recently acquired an incomplete example of The North Zea. The British Library copy is also incomplete.

Louis Vlasbloem Biography