A nice example of Blaeu's map of Virginia, Maryland and the Chesapeake region, from an early edition of Blaeu's atlas. This map is the second state of Hondius' rare separately issued map, purchased by Blaeu following Hondius' death in 1629. The map depicts the discoveries in the region detailed by John Smith in his map of 1612. This map was the first widely disseminated version of the Smith map and therefore higly influential on other maps of the period and became the standard map of the region until Augustine Hermanns map of 1673. The map is one of the most detailed map of the Chesapeake region to date and is an essential map for collectors of this region. Burden 228.
Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571-1638) was a prominent Dutch geographer and publisher. Born the son of a herring merchant, Blaeu chose not fish but mathematics and astronomy for his focus. He studied with the famous Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, with whom he honed his instrument and globe making skills. Blaeu set up shop in Amsterdam, where he sold instruments and globes, published maps, and edited the works of intellectuals like Descartes and Hugo Grotius. In 1635, he released his atlas, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, sive, Atlas novus.
Willem died in 1638. He had two sons, Cornelis (1610-1648) and Joan (1596-1673). Joan trained as a lawyer, but joined his father’s business rather than practice. After his father’s death, the brothers took over their father’s shop and Joan took on his work as hydrographer to the Dutch East India Company. Later in life, Joan would modify and greatly expand his father’s Atlas novus, eventually releasing his masterpiece, the Atlas maior, between 1662 and 1672.