“BRITANNIA DVCATVS...” Amsterdam: Willem J. Blaeu, c. 1635. Fine engraved map with original hand-coloring. Verso text: Latin. (Image : 15 x 20 ½ ’’) Less than fine condition, with some spots and toning, and severe extraneous creases adjacent to the original centerfold.
This very attractive early 17th century map depicts the Brittany Region in North western France. The Bay of Biscay lies to the southwest and the English Channel to the north. After the Romans withdrew, Celts from Britain moved into the region to seek refuge from the Anglo-Saxon invaders of the 5th and 6th centuries. From this event, the region derives its name.
Most towns, cities, forests and waterways are identified. The beautiful and elaborate title cartouche and elaborate 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).