Valesium Ducatus. Valois.
1641 (undated) 15.5 x 20 in (39.37 x 50.8 cm)
1 : 235000
A beautiful c. 1641 Willem Blaeu map of Valois, France. This region, an ancient French Duchy, is located slightly northeast of Paris and includes the cities of Senlis, Compiegne, Crepy, Soissons, and Meaux. The region is today included in the modern day department of Seine-et-Marne. The region is known for fine wines, including Champagne, which partially overlaps ancient Valois, and France's best Brie Cheese, Brie de Meaux. Three corners of this map decorated with decorative cartouche work, including an ornamental armorial crest, a baroque mile scale, and a title cartouche illustrating hunters armed with spears, falcons, and hunting dogs.
The Amsterdam based Blaeu clan represents the single most important family in the history of cartography. The firm was founded in 1596 by Willem Janzoon Blaeu (1571-1638). It was in this initial period, from 1596 to 1672, under the leadership of the Willem Blaeu and with this assistance of his two talented sons Cornelius (1616-1648) and Johannis (1596-1673), that the firm was most active. Their greatest cartographic achievement was the publication of the magnificent multi-volume Atlas Major. To this day, the Atlas Major represents one of the finest moments in cartography. The vast scope, staggering attention to detail, historical importance, and unparalleled beauty of this great work redefined the field of cartography in ways that have endured well into to the modern era. The cartographic works of the Blaeu firm are the crowning glory of the Dutch Golden Age of Cartography. The firm shut down in 1672 when their offices were destroyed during the Great Amsterdam Fire. The fire also destroyed all of Blaeu's original printing plates and records, an incomparable loss to the history of cartography.
Blaeu, W., Atlas Major, (Amsterdam) Latin Edition, 1641.
Very good. Original centerfold. French text on verso. Original plate mark visible. Minor verso repair restricted to upper left margin. Margins appear to have been trimmed down at some point, possibly for framing, however, remain ample.
Van der Krogt, P., Koeman's Atlantes Neerlandici, 4580:2:231.