611. [Atlas - Netherlands]
2 parts in 2 vol. (53 x 35 cm), folio: [14 incl. engr. title] pp.-129 maps, [14 incl. engr. title] pp.-96 maps; hinge-mounted, wide-margined copy (no letterpress titles in engr. title cartouches of both vol.; vol. 2: E2 "uyt Guicciardini getrocken" between 7 and 8, very light dampst. in upper margin, occ. foxing).
Contemp. Dutch bindings: white ivory vellum decorated with gilt roll-stamps and central medaillon, spines with gilt roll-stamps (few tr. of use).
Complete first Dutch edition (1651/1652) of Blaeu's town atlas of the Netherlands of which only 75 copies in 4 variant issues are mentioned by P. van der Krogt, including 129 maps of the United Netherlands and 96 maps of the Royal Netherlands. Unique variant, thus far not described with most of the characteristics of the 1st issue; these are the first states of the maps of Aachen [Aachen: 43.1], Kampen [Kampen: 43.1], Rheinberg [Rheinberg: 51.1], Tholen [Tholen: 43.1], Zierikzee [Zierikzee: 43.1] and Zwolle [Zwolle: 43.1], the second state with 9 ships in the sea of the map of Medenblick [Medenblick: 43.B2] and the particular map order of pl. 2PQS and 22A (Edam etc. and Vianen etc.). And, remarkably, 2 characteristics of the 4th edition: 2M "Alckmaer, beschreven door Sierick Siersma" and 2O with "Enckhuysen" instead of "Enckhvysen".
The composition of the atlas, first published in Latin after the Treaty of Westphalia, reflects the Dutch Republic's struggle for independence from Spain. The town atlas of the Netherlands formed part of Blaeu's larger and very ambitious plan to build a theatre showing the towns of the world. As this job was hard to complete during a lifetime, Blaeu explained his choice to start with the Netherlands because of this was the theatre of the most important events of his time, and also because the country was his homeland. "Bound up, by sentiment, with the most dramatic and heroic period of the shaping of the Dutch State, it shows the proud and industrious cities of the North in their full splendour."
Ref. Van der Krogt IV [43:121.1-2].
Prov. Lichtervelde (bookpl.).
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