Natolia, quae olim Asia Minor.
1640 (undated) 16 x 21 in (40.64 x 53.34 cm)
This is an attractive c. 1640 map of Turkey or Asia Minor by Willem Janszoon Blaeu. It covers Turkey from the Aegean Sea east as far as the Euphrates River. Cyprus and some of the Aegean Islands are also included. The map is beautifully detailed, noting several important towns, cities, rivers, and topography. Mountains are beautifully rendered in profile. The important cities of Constantinople (Istanbul), Smyrna (Izmir) and Antioch are identified.
The Ottoman Empire, at its peak, controlled the entire region during this period with Constantinople as its capital. In the middle part of the 17th century, after its period of growth, the Ottoman Empire would enter a period of gradual decline and stagnation.
A beautifully illustrated sea battle in the Mediterranean depicts one of the many naval battles fought by the Ottomans. Another illustration of a sea monster is also featured in the bottom right quadrant. A beautifully engraved title banner adorns the top of the map, with a scale depicted in the bottom right quadrant. Later editions would include an illustration of a turbaned figure holding the scale. This map was issued in 1840 by Willem Janszoon Blaeu's Atlas Novus.
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.
Very good. Some centerfold damage with verso reinforcements. Original platemark visible. Minor toning and spotting.