Part of Blaeu's Wall map of Germany -- Re-Purposed For A Special Atlas
Rare map of the regions drained by the Rhine and Moselle Rivers, including most of Northern Europe.
This map was issued in the 1634 German edition of Blaeu's
Atlas Novus. The map consists of a fragment of Blaeu's wall map of Germany, with a title cartouche engraved especially for the map and pasted down in the upper right corner.
The map appeared in only one edition of Blaeu's Atlas and is very rare on the market. This is only our second example in 20 years.
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.