A rare copy of the world’s most spectacular atlas will be put up for auction. The hand colored Johannes Blaeu atlas that was made in Amsterdam in 1660 has 9 volumes with 600 separated engraved maps, plans and views. The rare copy which is considered as the most expensive publication of the 17th century is expected to sell for £270,000 at a Sotheby Auction on April 26. The atlas is said to cost more than a Rembrandt painting.
Volume IV of the atlas focuses on Wales and England. It consists of 58 maps including illustrated views of Stonehenge and Avebury. Willem Blaeu was the head cartographer of Dutch East India Company when Amsterdam was the center of the illustrated map-making world. He was succeeded by his son Johannes Blaeu at the company. Johannes Blaeu’s 9-volume creation is regarded as a symbolic masterpiece during an era of geographical expansion and discovery. The explorations of Columbus and Vasco de Gama have opened doors to a new world.
The Dutch copy of the atlas was published in French, Latin, Dutch, German and Spanish; however, the copy that will be auctioned is the Dutch atlas that is owned by the van de Werves, a wealthy family from Antwerp, Belgium. Sotheby Auction House has already given as estimation of the atlas’ value at £230,000 to £270,000. According to Daniel Goldthorpe, the head of Books at Sotheby, London, the Johannes Blaeu masterpiece represents a zenith in atlas making. The masterpiece is undoubtedly the most spectacular atlas that has ever been created with many copies presented throughout Europe as a tangible symbol of the Republic of Netherlands.
Illustrated Maps are products of a creative and artistic mind with knowledge of geography, architecture and information. An illustrated map can be a presentation of a community, a campus or facility and landscapes from an aerial view focus. Illustrated Maps are often referred to as bird’s eye view maps because it delivers a realistic view of an area from above at an oblique view. You can easily gain a customary feeling of identification when you see the prominent parts of a landscape.