“XAINTONGE et ANGOVMOIS” Amsterdam: Willem J. Blaeu, c. 1635. Fine engraved map with original hand-coloring. Verso text: Latin. (Image : 15 x 19 ½ ’’)
This very attractive early 17th century map depicts the Charentes Region in western France. Off the coast in the Bay of Biscay, are the islands of Re and Oleron. Oleron hosts the seaside resort of Saint-Trojan.
Most towns, cities, forests and waterways are identified including the ancient cities of La Rochelle (its old port entrance is defended by two massive 14th-century towers: the pentagonal Saint-Nicolas Tower, and the Tower de la Chaîne),
Saintes (noted for its Brandy) and Cognac (famous for the brandy bears its name). The beautiful and elaborate title cartouches and coats-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).