1647 Willem Blaeu Large Antique Map of Switzerland - Helvetia

Cartographer :Willem Blaeu

This fine, beautifully hand coloured original antique map* of Switzerland by Willem Blaeu was published in the 1647 Dutch edition of Atlas Novus. 
This map, engraved by Blaeu but attributed to Gerard Mercator, is in fine condition with fine original margins, clean stable paper and original colour. A beautiful example of this map by Blaeu after Mercator.

General Description:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable
Paper color: - off white
Age of map color: - Original
Colors used: - Yellow, pink, red, blue, green
General color appearance: - Authentic
Paper size: - 24in x 20in (610mm x 510mm)
Plate size: - 20in x 15 1/4in (510mm x 390mm)
Margins: - Min 2in (50mm)

Margins: - None
Plate area: - None
Verso: - None

Background: The first printed map of Switzerland was published in Martin Waldseemuller's edition of Ptolemy in Strasbourg in 1513, but the manuscript map by Konrad Turst (1497) drawn to scale was a splendid first achievement for its time. Also the research of Vadianus at St Gallen University produced notable work, and along with the Germanic influence in Basle, which became part of the Swiss Confederation in 1501, and the highly developed wood engraving skills there, were important factors in European map publishing.
The almost endless editions of Sebastian Munster's Cosmographia were published in Basle from 1540 for nearly a century and Zurich can claim to have published the first national atlas produced anywhere -that of Johann Stumpf in 1548-52.
By comparison with her larger neighbours, Germany and Italy, Switzerland is considered not to have made a major contribution to Cartographic history. But over the years this has been contradicted, especially starting in the sixteenth century. In the second half of the sixteenth century many maps of the Swiss Cantons, in manuscript or woodcuts appeared, but the mountainous nature of the country produced its own mapping problems and imposed a need for large-scale surveys as well as practical and effective methods of showing land surfaces in relief. Early in the seventeenth century Hans Gyger perfected new ways of doing this but although he published a wide range of very large-scale maps of the cantons and of Switzerland as a whole his techniques did not receive the credit they deserved. On the other hand, his countrymen followed his example of compiling large-scale maps for which they have always been noted for up until the present day. (Ref: Koeman; M&B)