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BLAEU, Joan

Le Grand Atlas, ou cosmographie Blaviane, Neufviéme volume... L'Italie]

Amsterdam, 1663
Folio (570 x 365 mm.), full contemporary publishers vellum boards, with ornate gilt panelling and central gilt arabesque and corner floral decoration, yapp edges, original green silk ties frayed, light staining to upper cover, with ornate engraved half-title and 60 engraved maps, all in early outline colour most heightened in gold, (58 double-page, 1 single-page and Elba half-page), without printed title overslip often pasted in on half-title, occasional dampstaining and browning in margins, a few tears not affecting images, general map of Italy near detached, slight spotting to ‘Capitanata’, otherwise a good example of an extra gilded copy.
A good tall example of the first French text edition of the Italian volume of Joan Blaeu’s great atlas with fine colouring, with more gold illuminated than usual. Blaeu’s first topographical atlas appeared in 1630 in one volume and was gradually expanded. By 1640 it was in three volumes. His chief rival was the partnership of Jodocus Hondius and Jan Jansson. Both joined a race to expand their atlases. In 1640 Blaeu published for the first time a third volume to his ‘Atlas Novus’ which was an atlas of Italy which was issued in both French and Latin. The work of Blaeu set a standard of design, beauty and quality that arguably has never been surpassed. This example is in fact an issue of the larger format ‘Atlas Major’ published in 1663, the largest and most desirable atlas ever published. In this example the letterpress title slip with the imprint has not been pasted in on the half-title, and the printed title is missing. Koeman states that the 1663 and 1667 editions of this volume are identical. Koeman (1967-70) Bl 58 or 59; NMM Cat 72; Phillips 479 (1667); Shirley (2004) T.Bla 1q.
Stock number: 8821

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