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Spain by Willem Blaeu. 1605

First edition of Blaeu's very rare and decorative Spain map 1605.

This map marks a new trend in illustrations on folio-sized maps. Blaeu's map of Holland (1604) was the first Dutch map to include a series of town views. On his map of Spain, a couple in national costume has been added to the decorative element. This couple and the depictions of Seville and Lisbon are found as well in the borders of Blaeu's double-hemisphere wall map of the world, which was also published in 1605.
The etcher used the town views by Braun & Hogenberg as a model for the four town views.
Blaeu's map is a compilation of two older works: Ortelius's Spain map of 1570 and the map engraved by Benjamin Wright and published by Cornelis Claesz around 1600.
A second state of this map appeared with the year 1605 removed.


The Blaeus: Willem Janszoon, Cornelis & Joan

Willem Jansz. Blaeu and his son Joan Blaeu are the most widely known cartographic publishers of the seventeenth century.

Willem Jansz. (also written Guilielmus Janssonius) = Willem Janszoon Blaeu, was born in Uitgeest (Netherlands), near Alkmaar in 1571. He studied mathematics under Tycho Brahe and learned the theory and practice of astronomical observations and the art of instrument- and globe making.

In 1596 he came to Amsterdam where he settled down as a globe-, instrument- and map-maker. He published his first cartographic work (a globe) in 1599 and probably published his first printed map (a map of the Netherlands) in 1604. He specialized in maritime cartography and published the first edition of the pilot guide Het Licht der Zeevaert in 1608, and was appointed Hydrographer of the V.O.C. (United East India Company) in 1633. After thirty years of publishing books, wall maps, globes, charts and pilot guides, he brought out his first atlas, Atlas Appendix (1630). This was the beginning of the great tradition of atlas-making by the Blaeus.

In 1618 another mapmaker, bookseller and publisher, Johannes Janssonius established himself in Amsterdam next door to Blaeu's shop. It is no wonder that these two neighbours, who began accusing each other of copying and stealing their information, became fierce competitors who did not have a good word to say about each other. In about 1621 Willem Jansz. decided to put an end to the confusion between his name and his competitor's, and assumed his grandfather's sobriquet, 'blauwe Willem' ('blue Willem'), as the family name; thereafter he called himself Willem Jansz. Blaeu.

Willem Janszoon Blaeu died in 1638, leaving his prospering business to his sons, Cornelis and Joan. Of Cornelis we only know that his name occurs in the prefaces of books and atlases until c. 1645.

Joan Blaeu, born in Amsterdam, 1596, became partner in his father’s book trade and printing business. In 1638 he was appointed his father’s successor in the Hydrographic office of the V.O.C. His efforts culminated in the magnificent Atlas Major and the town-books of the Netherland and of Italy – works unsurpassed in history and in modern times, which gave eternal fame to the name of the Blaeus.

On February 23, 1672, a fire ruined the business. One year later, Dr. Joan Blaeu died. The fire of 1672 and the passing away of the director gave rise to a complete sale of the stock of the Blaeu House. Five public auctions dispersed the remaining books, atlases, copperplates, globes, etc., among many other map dealers and publishers in Amsterdam. The majority was acquired by a number of booksellers acting in partnership.

In the succeeding years, the remaining printing department was left in the hands of the Blaeu family until 1695 when also the inventory of the printing house was sold at a public auction. That meant the end of the Blaeus as a printing house of world renown.

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Nova Regni Hispaniae Descriptio, de novo multis in locis aucta et emendata.

€7500  ($8550 / £6375)
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Item Number:  28367  new
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > Spain and Portugal
References: Van der Krogt 2 - 6000:2A; Schilder 4 - p. 39 9.1 & p. 162-168 Facs. 6

Old, antique map of Spain & Portugal (Iberian Peninsula), by Willem Blaeu.

With four inset views in the corners: Toledo - Valladolid - Sevilla - Lisbona.

Title: Nova Regni Hispaniae Descriptio, de novo multis in locis aucta et emendata.
Amstelredami | Excudebat Guilielmus Janßonius
Anno 1605.

Date of the first edition: 1605.
Date of this map: 1605.
Date on map: 1605.

Copper engraving, printed on paper.
Map size: 400 x 540mm (15.75 x 21.26 inches).
Sheet size: 415 x 555mm (16.34 x 21.85 inches).
Verso: Blank.
Condition: Sharp impression, excellent.
Condition Rating: A+.
References: Van der Krogt 2, 6000:2A; Schilder 4, p. 39 9.1 & p. 162-168 Facs. 6

Separate publication.

First edition of Blaeu's very rare and decorative Spain map 1605.

This map marks a new trend in illustrations on folio-sized maps. Blaeu's map of Holland (1604) was the first Dutch map to include a series of town views. On his map of Spain, a couple in national costume has been added to the decorative element. This couple and the depictions of Seville and Lisbon are found as well in the borders of Blaeu's double-hemisphere wall map of the world, which was also published in 1605.
The etcher used the town views by Braun & Hogenberg as a model for the four town views.
Blaeu's map is a compilation of two older works: Ortelius's Spain map of 1570 and the map engraved by Benjamin Wright and published by Cornelis Claesz around 1600.
A second state of this map appeared with the year 1605 removed.


The Blaeus: Willem Janszoon, Cornelis & Joan

Willem Jansz. Blaeu and his son Joan Blaeu are the most widely known cartographic publishers of the seventeenth century.

Willem Jansz. (also written Guilielmus Janssonius) = Willem Janszoon Blaeu, was born in Uitgeest (Netherlands), near Alkmaar in 1571. He studied mathematics under Tycho Brahe and learned the theory and practice of astronomical observations and the art of instrument- and globe making.

In 1596 he came to Amsterdam where he settled down as a globe-, instrument- and map-maker. He published his first cartographic work (a globe) in 1599 and probably published his first printed map (a map of the Netherlands) in 1604. He specialized in maritime cartography and published the first edition of the pilot guide Het Licht der Zeevaert in 1608, and was appointed Hydrographer of the V.O.C. (United East India Company) in 1633. After thirty years of publishing books, wall maps, globes, charts and pilot guides, he brought out his first atlas, Atlas Appendix (1630). This was the beginning of the great tradition of atlas-making by the Blaeus.

In 1618 another mapmaker, bookseller and publisher, Johannes Janssonius established himself in Amsterdam next door to Blaeu's shop. It is no wonder that these two neighbours, who began accusing each other of copying and stealing their information, became fierce competitors who did not have a good word to say about each other. In about 1621 Willem Jansz. decided to put an end to the confusion between his name and his competitor's, and assumed his grandfather's sobriquet, 'blauwe Willem' ('blue Willem'), as the family name; thereafter he called himself Willem Jansz. Blaeu.

Willem Janszoon Blaeu died in 1638, leaving his prospering business to his sons, Cornelis and Joan. Of Cornelis we only know that his name occurs in the prefaces of books and atlases until c. 1645.

Joan Blaeu, born in Amsterdam, 1596, became partner in his father’s book trade and printing business. In 1638 he was appointed his father’s successor in the Hydrographic office of the V.O.C. His efforts culminated in the magnificent Atlas Major and the town-books of the Netherland and of Italy – works unsurpassed in history and in modern times, which gave eternal fame to the name of the Blaeus.

On February 23, 1672, a fire ruined the business. One year later, Dr. Joan Blaeu died. The fire of 1672 and the passing away of the director gave rise to a complete sale of the stock of the Blaeu House. Five public auctions dispersed the remaining books, atlases, copperplates, globes, etc., among many other map dealers and publishers in Amsterdam. The majority was acquired by a number of booksellers acting in partnership.

In the succeeding years, the remaining printing department was left in the hands of the Blaeu family until 1695 when also the inventory of the printing house was sold at a public auction. That meant the end of the Blaeus as a printing house of world renown.

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