Extrema Americae Versus Boream, ubi Terra Nova Nova Franci.
1662 (undated) 18 x 22.5 in (45.72 x 57.15 cm)
1 : 5000000
An old color example of Johannes Blaeu's 1662 map of eastern Canada, including Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Cape Breton Island, and Labrador. Blaeu based this maps on the great 1632 Nouvelle France map of Samuel de Champlain as well as Dutch East India Company (VOC) maps by Hessel Gerritsz, Johannes de Laet (1630), and Jodocus Hondius (1636). With such distinguished sources, this was one of the most comprehensive maps of the eastern part of New France then available – particularly with its detailed mapping of the lakes to the north of the Saint Lawrence estuary. The focus of the map, the rich cod fisheries of the Grand Banks, here shaded at center, is underscored by the addition of fish and fishermen to the baroque title cartouche in the upper right.
Blaeu introduced this map in the 1662 first edition of the Atlas Major. The Atlas Major added some 185 new maps to Blaeu's extant six volume Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. Of these, the present map was the only one pertaining to North America. Previous to Johannes Blaeu's compilation of this map, this region had been woefully unrepresented in the Blaeu corpus with only the Willem Blaeu's 1617 general map of North America addressing it.
Shortly after this map was issued, the 1672 Great Amsterdam Fire destroyed the Blaue workshop and forced the closing of the Blaeu firm. Between 1662 and 1672 only five issues of the Atlas Major were released, making this map exceptionally scarce on the market. Nonetheless, unlike most Blaeu plates, this plate for this map seems to have survived the Great Fire as evidenced by scarce c. 1700 reissues of the map under the Pierre Mortier and later, the Covens and Mortier, imprints.
The Blaeu Family (fl. 1596 - 1672). 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 nearly all of Blaeu's original printing plates and records, an incomparable loss to the history of cartography.
Good. Even toning. Backed on archival tissue.
Boston Public Library, Leventhal Map Center,. Phillips (atlases) 471 (Dutch edition). Burden, P., The Mapping of North America, 371, pp. 142-145.