Blaeu, Guiljelmus. Morea."Morea olim Peloponnesus." Amsterdam Joahannes and Cornelius Blaeu. 1659
Original coloured, copper engraved map of the Peloponnesus from Joan Blaeu's "Atlas Mayor. sino Cosmographia Bavania en La Qual Exactamente Se descrive La tierre, El mar Y El Cielo" Double page; folio; Spanish text to verso. The map shows the Peloponnesus with the gulf of Corinth to the north, the islands of the Saronic Gulf and Cerigo/ Kithera Decorative old coloured title cartouche surmounted by the Ottoman flag; scale cartouche to upper right; ships to sea. From the scarce Spanish text edition of the" Atlas Major". Original colour; minor spotting worse to margins; left margin trimmed but ample; two worm tracks [approx 10mm] to each side blank margin; short split at lower centre fold & crease to lower left corner [backed with archival tape] .
Willem Janszoon Blaeu [1571- 1668] had set up the business in Amsterdam 1596 following studies with the famous astonomer Tycho Brahe. In 1630 Willhem published his first atlas "Atlas Appendix", having published maritime cartography, books, charts and pilot guides for previous thirty years. Appointed Hydrographer of the V. O. C. ( United East India Company)in 1633 he died in 1638. leaving the company to his sons Joan and Cornelius Of Cornelius little is know; his name appearing on in the prefaces of books and atlases only until c1645.
Dr Joan Blaeu [ 1596-1673] who had studied at Leiden took over the management of the business and established its fame. He was also appointed Hydrographer to the V. O. C. ( 1638), but his interests leant more to geography than maritime cartography. His aim was" a full description of heaven, earth and water" ( Koeman) which was unachievable. but his work produced the magnificent "Atlas Major" and the Town books of the Netherlands and Italy; works unsurpassed in history and modern times.
The "Theatrum Orbis Terrarum " or "Atlas Novus" Willem Blaeu's great project enlarging the "Appendix" was advertised in 1634, was first published in a preliminary edition in 1635. (preface dated 10-3-1634) two volumes. The final edition comprising again two volumes with 109 & 99 maps respectively with German text also published 1635; an edition with Dutch text, (preface dated 22-4-1635) 104 & 103 maps; French text( preface dated 1-7-1635) 105 & 103 maps; and with Latin text (preface dated "ipsis Aprillis")105 & 102 maps.
In 1640, after Willem's death a Third volume with French text and comprising 58 maps of Italy and 8 of Greece, was published; later the same year an edition was produced with Latin text. Still in 1640, variant editions in both languages were issued with an appendix of 4 maps of the British Isles as a precursor to the Fourth volume, which would be a complete description thereof. This would appear in 1645.
The "Atlas Novus" was eventually extended to six volumes with the addition of a fifth volume, Scotland in 1654 and the following year a sixth the "Atlas Sinensis"of Martini.
Joan Blaeu recognised that the wealthy patrons who would buy such an atlas were primarily concerned with display, thus aesthetic considerations were emphasised: the quality of the paper, binding, beautiful typography and bright colour, making maps from the Blaeu printing house amongst the most decorative of their time.
The rare Spanish edition of the Atlas Maior occupies an extraordinary place within the Blaeu epic. In contrast to the editions in other languages, its volumes were printed serially over fifteen years, printed in more limited quantity, bore different titles, and were not numbered. The genesis of this project came with the decision to produce the Spanish Atlas Nuevo, with the volume relating to Scotland first published in 1657, and that on China the following year. In 1659 the volumes relating to Northern Europe, Eastern Europe and England were produced, along with second editions of the two volumes already published. Even before Joan Blaeu had made preparations to publish the Atlas Maior in other languages, he decided to turn the extant volumes of the Atlas Nuevo into the first five volumes of the Atlas Mayor. The long process of production meant that there were variations in title and imprint, as well as the collation of specific volumes. The volume on Spain was the last to be printed, before a fire which broke out in Blaeu's Gravenstraat workshop on the night of 22-23 February, 1672. It destroyed many of the original copperplates and printed sheets for the Atlas Mayor, and led to production of the projected eleventh volume, relating to Asia, Africa and America, being abandoned.
The Atlas Mayor (the Spanish edition of the Atlas Maior) is the rarest edition of what De la Fontaine Verwey called "the greatest and finest atlas ever published".
Zacharakis;385/246; Koeman1, Bl 60A [274/Kkk] 412 by 494mm (16¼ by 19½ inches).
ref: 2500 €650