BLAEU, Willem (1571-1638) and Jan BLAEU (1596-1673)
Le Théâtre du monde, ou nouvel atlas....quatrieme partie [Theatrum, volume IV: England and Wales]
Amsterdam: 1648. Folio. (20 ¾ x 13 inches). French text, letterpress title on slip within hand-coloured engraved architectural border, heightened in gilt, 60 engraved general and county maps (59 double page) including general maps of Scotland and Ireland preceded by a printed divisional half-title (not called for in the index at end), all finely coloured by a contemporary hand, 71 illustrations (3 hand-coloured).
Contemporary red morocco, paneled in gilt with fillets and decorative rolls, the inner panel with elaborate blocked cornerpieces of stylized scrolling foliage, a blocked central oval of scrolling flowers and foliage enclosing a small blank oval, the spine gilt in eight compartments with raised bands, each compartment with a central rose flower-head tool and a small flower-spray tool at each corner, green cloth ties, gilt edges, modern tan cloth box, brown morocco lettering-piece.
An unrecorded variant edition of Blaeu's atlas of England and Wales, in a magnificent contemporary red morocco binding.
The fifty-eight maps normally found in the French editions are supplemented by an appendix with a half-title and two new maps. These new maps are general maps of Scotland and Ireland, which were the first two maps completed for Blaeu's atlas of Scotland. The forthcoming publication of the Scotland atlas is announced on the half-title, but it did not appear on the market until 1654 (as volume 5 of the Theatrum ). Neither Koeman nor Skelton mention a French edition with this appendix, which is normally found in the Dutch-text edition of 1647 (Koeman B145B). The ephemeral nature of this edition is confirmed by the fact that the supplement is not mentioned in the index at the end.
The present atlas is volume four of the six-volume French text edition of the Theatrum (or Théâtre du Monde ). The volumes of the Theatrum were published separately from 1635 to 1655. Volume 4 was introduced with French text in 1645. In its completed form, the Theatrum was the finest and most accurate atlas yet to have been published.
Koeman I, Bl-42 C (not calling for the extra maps of Scotland or Ireland present here); Skelton 43.