Lot 57
  • 57

Blaeu, Johannes

150,000 - 200,000 GBP
Log in to view results
bidding is closed


  • Grooten Atlas, oft Werelt-beschryving in welcke 't Aerdryck de Zee, en Hemel. Amsterdam: Johannes Blaeu, [1664-1665]
  • paper
13 parts in 9 volumes, Dutch text edition, folio (540 x 340mm.), printed title, engraved allegorical title, 9 printed or engraved titles within engraved borders, 8 divisional titles, and 595, engraved maps, plans and views (most double-page) in contemporary hand-colour (general and engraved titles heightened in gold), many engraved and woodcut illustrations in text coloured, index leaf at end of each volume, re-guarded, contemporary Dutch vellum gilt, gilt edges, original ties, each volume housed in a morocco-backed clamshell case, folding map of the Rhine loose in volume 2, map of Lyon with small hole, volume VII (Italy and Greece) is from an earlier edition (1642) complete with 62 maps (see footnote), a remboîtage to match, the entire text block of this volume being extended to size, very occasional light discoloration


Knights Templar seal to title (perhaps indicating a previous masonic owner); Library stamp "Bibliotheca Abbatiae" to verso of title, with manuscript addition


Koeman Bl 57; Van der Krogt 2:261


The condition of this lot is as described in the catalogue description
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

Catalogue Note

The Dutch text edition of "the greatest and finest atlas every produced" (Koeman). The work is undoubtedly the most spectacular atlas ever produced, many copies of which were presented throughout Europe as a tangible symbol of the Republic of the United Netherlands. The atlas was printed with text in Latin, French, Spanish, and, as here, Dutch.

The nine-volume set comprises:

Volume I. World, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, 1664, 90 maps and plates, including 5 plans and 9 plates illustrating Tycho Brahe’s astronomical observatory on the island of Hven in Oresund (after the woodcuts in Brahe’s Astronomiae insauratae mechanicae, published in Wandsbeck in 1598), where Johannes Blaeu’s father Willem was assistant and student for a time. The maps of Slesvig are part of the series originally published in Caspar Danckwerth and Johannes Mejer’s Newe Landesbeschreibung der zweij Herzogthumer Schleswig und Holstein (1652)

Volume II. Germany and Switzerland, 1664, 107 maps including the balance of the Danckwerth and Mejer maps of 1652

Volume III. The Netherlands and the United Netherlands, 1664, 65 maps

Volume IV. England and Wales, 1648, 58 maps

Volume V. Scotland and Ireland, 1654, 55 maps. Most of these are based on the manuscript surveys of Timothy Pont and Robert Gordon, which were printed for the first time in 1654

Volume VI. France, no date, 66 maps

Volume VII. Italy and Greece, 1642, 62 maps (this volume is complete in itself; the 1664 edition has 5 new maps added cf. Van der Krogt 2:221.3e)

Volume VIII. Spain, Africa and the Americas, 1665, 64 maps. These include maps largely based on the works of Johannes de Laet, as well as the fine group of Brazilian maps showing the (by then) former Dutch colonies. These are after the series originally published by Blaeu in 1647 in Caspar Barlaeus’s Rerum per octennium in Brasilia and show the remarkable vignettes after the designs of the painter Frans Janzoon Post (c.1612-1680)

Volume  IX. Asia, China and Japan, 1664, 28 maps. Essentially two atlases in one, these maps include the set of 17 of China and Japan after Martino Martini, SJ, which first appeared in the Novus atlas sinensis which Blaeu had issued in 1655