SKU: PR00305 Category:


Description: We offer an engraved map of the West Indies by Willem Janszoon Blaeu from Novus Atlas published in 1635. The plate is 16” x 20 ¾” on laid paper that measures 17 ½” x 24 ¼”.The text on verso is in Latin. The upper left cartouche reads: “Insulae Americanae in Oceano Septentrionali cum Terris adiacentibus”, and the lower is a Latin dedication to the director of the West India Company, Albertus Conradi. Both are decorated with New World animals (bats, lizards and turtles), putti, Medusa holding a snake and a mirror, and a coat of arms; all are lavishly hand-colored in vivid jewel tones. The map shows the whole of the Caribbean and the surrounding land mass from Virginia to Venezuela. Item #PR00305.

Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571-1638) was born to a wealthy herring monger and poised to inherit the family business, but he gravitated towards mathematics and geometry. He followed these leanings to Denmark and studied under the astronomer Tycho Brahe form 1594-1596. During this time he qualified as an instrument and globe maker. By 1600 he had discovered the second ever variable star now named P Cygni. Upon his return to Holland, Blaeu wasted no time printing his own maps and making globes and atlases. In 1633 he was appointed map-maker to the Dutch East India Company. He published other geographical works by Willebrord Snell, Descartes and others. His sons,Johannes and Cornelius, continued his publishing legacy after his death. Blaeu’s maps are painted in the backgrounds of a number of Vermeer’s paintings.

Condition: A few light spots, mostly in the blank margins. Generally in good condition.