“RVSSIÆ, vulgo MOSCOVIA, Pars Australis” Isaac Massa. Amsterdam: Johnnnes & Cornelius Blaeu, c. 1663. Verso: French. (Image: 15 ¼ x 20 ¾’’)
Prepared by Isaac Massa (1586-1643), a Dutch mapmaker who traveled to Russia, returning to Holland in 1609, bringing with him a large amount of original cartographic manuscript material used for a number of maps by Blaeu. Extremely fine engraved map with original hand-coloring and very wide margins. Ref: Van der Krogt (Vol II) #1802:2.
This very attractive 17th century map depicts the southwestern region of Russia, centered on the city of Moscow and including the Ukraine and Crimea. Most towns, cities (including Moscow, Smolensk, Vologda, Nizhniy Novgorod, and Azov) , forests, and waterways are identified.
The figures at the bottom are dressed in furs, reflecting the 17th century interest in Russia as a fur-producing region. The colorful and elaborate title cartouches with the coat-of-arms further enhance the map.
Blaeu was founder of the leading 17th century Dutch cartographic firm. “The achievements of the firms of Blaeu were remarkable, & the palm for supremacy in map production in any age must be awarded to the Blaeu” (Tooley: Maps & Map-Makers, p. 33).