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[Blaeu's classic world map]
BLAEU, Willem Janszoon.
Nova Totius Terrarum Orbis Geographica ac Hydrographica Tabula. Amsterdam, c.1640. Old colour. 410 x 540mm. Minor restoration, old manuscript annotation in lower border.
Shirley describes this world map as a 'classic single-sheet world map on Mercator's projection... celebrated as one of the supreme examples of the map maker's art'. It set the standard for vignette borders, with allegorical figures representing the sun, moon & known planets along the top, the Four Elements on the left, the Four Seasons on the right, and depictions of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World along the bottom. There are decorative cartouches for the title, dedication and explanation, two spheres for the north and south poles, compass roses and numerous galleons and sea monsters. Engraved by Josua van den Ende and originally issued separately in 1606 (under Blaeu's original name of Janszoon), this example comes from the fourth state, which dates from its use in Blaeu's atlases from 1630. Being separate issues the earlier states are increasingly difficult to find. SHIRLEY: World 255.