This item was published in Amsterdam, 1621 or later, but before 1650 size is 27.0. x .34.2 inches. (or 68.7. x .86.8 cm.) Copper engraving on parchment, coloured by a contemporary hand. Cropped, as usual, on the neat line, to the right cut about 5mm into the printed area. The imprint is on places somewhat weaker and /or ink has been faded out. One small hole (1,7x1,4cm.) in lower part, inland of Russia. As often, the parchment is wavy, with light water staining, usual staining and surface dust.
First state of two. The title and imprint appear in a cartouche, crowned by the printer's mark of Willem Jansz Blaeu [INDEFESSVS AGENDO], at the center of the lower border. Scale cartouches appear in four corners of the chart, and richly decorated coats of arms have been engraved in the interior. The chart is oriented to the west. It shows the seacoasts of Europe from Novaya Zemlya and the Gulf of Sydra in the east, and the Azores and the west coast of Greenland in the west. In the north the chart extends to the northern coast of Spitsbergen, and in the south to the Canary Islands. The eastern part of the Mediterranean id included in the North African interior.
The chart is printed on parchment and coloured by a contemporary hand. The colours red and green and blue still present, other colours faded. An intriguing line in green colour, 34 cm long and about 3mm bold is running offshore the Norwegian coast all the way south of Greenland, and closely following Tara Polar Arctic Circle !
Blaeu's chart greatly influenced other Amsterdam publisher's. Anthonie Jacobsz, for example, published an extremely accurate copy about 1650, Justus Danckerts even included Blaeu's printer's mark, while the chart published by Blaeu's grandchildren Willem, Pieter and Joan, also strongly resembles it.
A second state of the map was published by Pieter Goos, with an updated address "By Pieter Goos Op't Water". Goos was active at this address from 1650-66 and the present map must have been published in between 1621 and 1650. Eight other complete copies on parchment and one on paper of the first state are located by prof. Schilder. (Schilder, Monumenta Cartographica Neerlandica, IV, 45.1 ) In France only the BNF processes a complete copy on parchment and one fragment of this chart. This chart was unknown to Wieder (1925-1933) and Keunig (1973).
Interestingly, Johannes Vermeer used this chart (or the state by Goos) on his painting The geographer ( 1669) now in Städel Museum, Frankfurt, Germany. The ratio is not the same and a compass rose has been added in the Atlantic Ocean, however it is clear he was inspired by this chart. Wall maps where popular decorations to be found in the homes of wealthy 17th century merchants.
Schilder, Monumenta Cartographica Neerlandica, IV, 45.1., Denucé (1927) p.8, Catalogue des cartes nautiques (1963) p.313: Stopp & Langel (1974) p.33 and Tafel VI, Schilder (1976c) p.18 en fig 7.
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