Willem Blaeu. “Hibernia Regnum Vulgo Ireland.” Amsterdam: W. Blaeu, ca. 1640. 15 1/8 x 19 5/8. Engraving. Original hand coloring. Some paper toning and old mat burn. Overall, very good condition.
An elegant map of Ireland by Dutch cartographer Willem Blaeu. Blaeu (1571-1638) was the progenitor of the famous Blaeu cartographic firm of Amsterdam. He studied astronomy and sciences with Tycho Brahe, and in 1599 established a globe and instrument making business which soon expanded to include cartographic and geographic publishing. This firm was to go on to become the largest and most important cartographic publishing firms in the world, later run by his sons Cornelis (until his death in 1642) and Joan. The maps issued by the Blaeu firm are known for their fine engraving and design, and have been called “the highest expression of Dutch cartographical art.” This is a good example of the quality of the firm’s work, with topographical information carefully engraved and named according to the most up-to-date information. The three baroque cartouches are beautiful adding a decorative touch to this fine seventeenth-century document.