Valesium Ducatus. Valois.
1641 (undated) 15.5 x 20 in (39.37 x 50.8 cm)
1 : 235000
A beautiful c. 1641 Johannes 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.
Johannes Blaeu (September 23, 1596 - December 21, 1673), also known as Joan Blaeu, was a Dutch cartographer active in the 17th century. Johannes was the son of Willem Janszoon Blaeu, founding of the Blaeu firm. Like his father Willem, Johannes was born in Alkmaar, North Holland. He studied Law, attaining a doctorate, before moving to Amsterdam to join the family mapmaking business. In 1633, Willem arranged for Johannes to take over Hessel Gerritsz's position as the official chartmaker of the Dutch East India Company, although little is known of his work for that organization, which was by contract and oath secretive. What is known is his work supplying the fabulously wealthy VOC with charts was exceedingly profitable. Where other cartographers often fell into financial ruin, the Blaeu firm thrived. It was most likely those profits that allowed the firm to publish the Theatrum orbis terrarum, sive, Atlas Novus, their most significant and best-known publication. When Willem Blaeu died in 1638, Johannes, along with his brother Cornelius Blaeu (1616 - 1648) took over the management of the Blaeu firm. They vastly expanded and updated the Atlas Novus to a remarkable 12 volumes. Under the brothers' capable management, the firm continued to prosper until the 1672 Great Amsterdam Fire destroyed their offices and most of their printing plates. Johannes Blaeu, witnessing the destruction of his life's work, died in despondence the following year. He is buried in the Dutch Reformist cemetery of Westerkerk. Johannes Blaeu was survived by his son, also Johannes but commonly called Joan II, who inherited the family's VOC contract, for whom he compiled maps until 1712.
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.