Welcome to Classical Images!
Description:This beautiful, original, hand coloured copper-plate engraved antique map of the East Coast of America, from Virginia, The Carolinas, Georgia & northern Florida was published in arguably the greatest atlas ever published, the 11th volume of Joan Blaeus 1662 edition of Atlas Major, or Great Atlas, Latin 1st edition.This map was printed from a plate first produced by the Blaeus in 1638 and was published in Atlas Major for only 10 years, prior to the disastrous 1672 fire that wiped out the Blaeu publishing house. The original colouring is also extremely rare to find and this colouring is exceptional, along with heavy paper, a strong impression and original margins.Cartographically this map forms a marked improvement on the Jodocus Hondius map of 1606, from which this was largely derived. It also amply illustrates the direction that engraving styles had moved, being more open and florid. The map depicts two nations interests, both marked by their own coat of arms. The French claim, being largely present day Georgia, rests on the abortive colonial attempts of the 1560s. Blaeu makes no advance here in geography, following Hondius to the letter.The greatest improvement occurs in the northern half of the map north of Porto Royal. Whereas on the Hondius the coastline towards C. de Ste. Romano (present day Cape Fear) veered directly east, Blaeu more correctly takes it north-east, placing the cape closer to its true position of 34°. This span of coastline is approximately that of present day South Carolina\'s. This now present to us a more accurately proportioned Outer Banks Region, radically reduced in size but still slightly too far north. For these improvements Blaeu drew upon the extremeley rare DE EYLANDEN ..., by Hessel Gerritsz, c. 1631. The Outer Banks combine the placenames of Gerritsz and Hondius, often using two different ones for the same area such as C. de Trafalgar and C. ost Feare. This latter name was often applied to present day Cape Lookout before it was used for its present site to the south-west.Chesapeake Bay was depicted as just a small bay on Hondius map of 1606 as John Smith was yet to explore these waters. The Gerritsz terminated at this point, and only two place names appeared. Blaeu draws largely on the Smith map for much of the nomenclature but introduces some English ones from an unknown source. The most important is Newport nesa, Newport News, founded in 1621 and apparently shown here for the first time on a printed map. Also new are Bermouth, Stortingen and Arglas. The two Indian figures from Hondius map form part of the cartouche on Blaeu\'s. The winged cherub to the left of the scale provides the only difference to the two known states.
General Definitions:Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stablePaper color : - off whiteAge of map color: - OriginalColors used: - Yellow, green, blue, pinkGeneral color appearance: - AuthenticPaper size: - 23 1/2in x 20in (595mm x 510mm)Plate size: - 20in x 15in (510mm x 380mm)Margins: - Min 1in (25mm)
Imperfections:Margins: - Light age toningPlate area: - Light age toningVerso: - Light age toning
Background: Atlas Major or Great Atlas - During the early hours of the 23rd of February 1672, a fire broke out and engulfed a building on Gravenstraat, in the centre of Amsterdam. Such an event at the time was unremarkable, until it was recognised that the fire had brought to an end of one of the greatest publishing houses of all time. Dr Joan Blaeus family were responsible for printing and publishing some of the most important maps, atlases, religious and philosophical books, that are recognised even today, as remarkable. The fire was described in suitably vivid terms in the annual review publication, De Hollandtse Mercurius for 1672-1673.............the disaster occurred at 3.30 on the morning of the 23rd of February because of the dryness of the timbers, or perhaps the carelessness of the apprentices; the magnificent establishment caught fire, and with it printing type, presses, plates and paper, were all burnt and sparks were sent flying as far as the Tol-heck (Toll Gate). One report put the financial cost of the damage at fl. 27, 000 for the buildings and some fl 355,000 for the plate-stock in the printing works and shop premises, to give total estimated losses of fl. 382, 000 (or about $25milUS in modern terms) together with some four or five thousand reams of paper, five or six thousand sheets, 88 thousand kg. printing type and so on...................The fire precipitated the end of a publishing house established over 40 years before, and very probably contributed to the death of its proprietor, Alderman Dr Joan Blaeu, a year later, effectively ending the reign of one of the greatest producers of printed maps and atlases in publishing history. Only 10 years previously, in 1662, the house had reached its zenith with the publication of its greatest achievement, the Atlas Major or Great Atlas, containing 11 volumes with geographical detail reflecting many of the achievements of the Golden Ageof the United Netherlands. Joan Blaeus 11 volume Atlas Major is considered by many to be the greatest atlas ever published, both in its own time and even today. It excels in comprehensiveness, engraving, color, and overall production. The first Latin edition was published in 1662 and was subsequently published in French, Dutch, German, and Spanish.Most of the surviving copies of the Atlas Major are bound in what might be termed as Standard bindings, in other words, uniform cream-coloured vellum with gilt tooling and lettering. Wealthy clients for the atlas could commission a binder to bind their sets in morocco or even velvet, embellished with their crests of other decorative devices. Such bindings were carried out by the celebrated binder Albert Magnus, who flourished in Amsterdam from the 1660s to 1680. As it appears that Joan Blaeu had no bindery on his premises, it is very likely that Magnus also bound copies in the standard binding. Colour was also a very important consideration. Although the atlas was published in black and white, and could be bought so (without hand colouring) many clients buying the atlas for display in their houses proffered their copies illuminated with rich hand colouring and sometime with gold high lightening. This of course was considerably more expensive, and there were in Amsterdam at the time artists who carried out such work. One of these was Dirk Janszoon van Santen who coloured and gilded maps and atlases to order, examples of which have survived and may be seen in institutional collections.Blaeus atlas was the most expensive printed book in the 17th century. Blaeus catalogue of 1670, his Catalogue des Atlas, Theatre des Citez, quoted prices for the 12 volume French Text edition of the atlas at fl. 450 for a coloured set, and fl. 350 for a black and white set. This is the equivalent of paying around $70,000 today (although to purchase today at auction could be well over $250,000)The original 11 volumes of Atlas Majorcontained the following contents: v 1. Arctica --Europa, liber 1-2:. Norvegia. Dania. Sleswicv. 2. Europa, liber 3-7: Suecia. Russia. Polonia. Regiones orientales ultra Germaniam circa Danubium. Graeciav. 3. Europa, liber 8: Germaniav. 4. Europa, liber 9-10: Belgica regiav. 5. Europa, liber 11: Angliav. 6. Europa, liber 12-13: Scotia. Hiberniav. 7. Europa, liber 14-15: Gallia. Helvetiav. 8. Europa, liber 16: Italiav. 9. Europa, liber 17: Hispania. Africav. 10. Asia v. 11. America.