Antique Maps by Joan (Johannes) Blaeu
Old and historical 17th century maps by Joan Blaeu .
A famous firm of Dutch cartographers and publishers was established in the late 16th century by Willem Janszoon Blaeu in Amsterdam. Blaeu was a maker of globes and scientific instruments and purchased some of his early map plates from Jodocus Hondius. From this small beginning was to emerge one of the largest and most prolific map publishing houses of the seventeenth century.
Willem's two sons, Joan and Cornelius, both entered the family business and in 1630 the firm published its first world atlas, bound in a single volume. This was increased to two volumes in 1635 and to three in 1640.
In 1645 Joan Blaeu published a county Atlas of England and Wales as part of his Atlas Novus, with maps based mainly on the earlier research of Saxton and Speed. The atlas was regarded as a masterpiece with a balanced style and calligraphic quality that has never been surpassed.