A fine example of
Willem Blaeu's famous map of Asia. Like the Blaeu Africa
map, this is a map that appeals both to
a sense of cartographic history and to an aesthetic sense of
beauty. This is a cornerstone, folio-size map of Asia
and is one of the better known, more decorative maps of Asia of
the 17th century.
This map is basically a reduction of Blaeu's wallmap of Asia of
1608. The map contains extensive details on what was known
of Asia in the early 17th century. Korea is still an
island. Japan has a predominantly east to west direction.
In China, the Great Wall is shown along with the in-land lakes.
Willem Janszoon, or Willem Jansz Blaeu (1571-1638) as he is more
commonly known, was one of the most noted Dutch cartographers
and map publisher of the 17th century. R.V.
Tooley stated that Blaeu's maps are "esteemed by collectors for
their decorative quality, historical importance, and as the
highest expression of Dutch cartographic art during the period
of its supremacy" (Tooley, p 28).
After preparation as a
pupil of the great Danish astronomer,Tycho Brahe, Blaeu
initially concentrated on globe making and separately published
maps, including wall maps of the continents. From 1608, he
dominated the market for sea atlases and in 1630 produced his
terrestrial atlas. These atlases were continued by his
sons, culminating in the great Atlas Maior of 1662 in 11 volumes
with subsequent editions.
This particular map is from an early
edition of Blaeu's atlas of 1634 or 1635. This map first appeared in an atlas in
Blaeu's Atlantis Appendix of 1630; it next appeared in this
year of 1634/1635. This map has
German text on the verso with a
signature of "C".
The map is in its 3rd state. The
1st state of 1617 was issued separately and has the name of "Willem Jansz" (not Blaeu) in
the title cartouche. This state is rare and is
virtually impossible to acquire. The 2nd state of 1621-30 has the name
changed to "Guiljelmo Blaeuw" in the title. There is
a 3rd state.
Tooley, Collectors' Guide to Maps of Africa, p.28-29. Krogt, Peter van der, Koeman's Atlantes Neerlandici, vol.II, p.591. Schilder,
Gunter with Klaus Stopp, Monumenta Cartographica Neerlandica
Fine Condition. Strong image with attractive
original color. Complete,
un-trimmed margins (the high resolution image above shows most of
the margins). Reinforcement with tissue of a small piece of paper
that is missing from the top of
the upper margin, far removed from the map impression; a few
soft paper wrinkles.