FIRST FRENCH EDITION. This map was first published in 1635 in different languages. This French text example is from that first edition entitled ‘Le Theatre du Monde’. This atlas is the product of one of the first and great rivalries in the atlas world – the firms of Willem Blaeu and Jodocus Hondius/ Johannes Jansson. Abraham Ortelius produced the first uniform ‘atlas’ as we know it in 1570 under the title ‘Theatrum Orbis Terrarum’. Others followed namely Gerard De Jode and especially Gerard Mercator. The Mercator atlas was acquired by Jodocus Hondius in 1604 and expanded for the next 20 years and dominated the market. Blaeu had during this same period focused on sea atlas production with a handful of loose topographical maps. Then when Jodocus Hondius II (the son) died in 1629 Blaeu bought his stock of copper plates and used them to publish his ‘Appendix’ of 1630. The atlas would be expanded and morph into the ‘Atlas Novus’.
This map of the Balearic Islands was published in the second volume. The centre of the map focuses on the islands of Menorca, Mallorca, Ibiza and Formentera. To the north and east is the coast of mainland Spain. It stretches from Barcelona to just south of Valencia. The Balearic islands were a major trading entity and at the time considered part of Aragon. Upper left are the Royal Coat of Arms of Spain and upper right those of the Balearic islands. Koeman (1967-70) I Bl 11, no. 204; Van der Krogt, P. (Atlantes) 6280:2; Tooley (1999-2004).