The Old Print Shop

Magnae Britanniae et Hiberniae Tabula.

  • ARTIST: Joan Blaeu

  • PUBLISHER: Published by Guiljelmum Blaeu, Amsterdam.

  • MEDIUM: Copper plate engraving,

    DATE: 1631 c.1640.

  • EDITION SIZE: Image 15 1/8 x 19 3/8" (38.5 x 49.3 cm) plus margins.

  • DESCRIPTION: A beautiful map from a 1640 Latin text edition of Joan Blaeu's "Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, Sive Atlas Novis."<br><br> Joan Blaeu was the son of Willem Janszoon Blaeu, who founded a famous cartographic firm in Amsterdam with his two sons during the 17th century, the golden age of the Dutch school of cartography. Willem and Joan published the first edition of their atlas, “Theatrum Orbis Terrarum,” in 1630 with a version of this map included. They continued to publish later editions until Willem’s death in 1638. After his father’s death, Joan expanded and revised the atlas alone, adding more volumes and creating new editions such as this one from 1640. His efforts culminated in the production of the Atlas Maior, the largest book produced in the 17th century, which was produced between 1662 and 1672 in editions containing up to 12 volumes.<br><br>This particular map was the Blaeus’ standard and most iconic representation of the British Isles, and it appeared in all of the versions of the atlas, from 1630 to 1672. It is notable for its comprehensive depiction of England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, and also includes parts of coastal France and Holland and an inset of the Orkney Islands. Regions, towns, ports, and islands in the British Isles are labeled in great detail. This is a decorative example of the map, produced before it was reformatted for use in the Atlas Maior, and includes a title cartouche, compass rose, sailing ships, and a sea monster.


  • CONDITION: Good condition. Original hand coloring.