Item details: Oxonium Comitatus, vulgo Oxford Shire
Oxonium Comitatus, vulgo Oxford Shire
Imprint: Amsterdam, 1645-
390 x 510 mm., in early outline colour, in good condition.
Willem Blaeu established the firm in 1599 as instrument and globe makers. His first topographical atlas appeared in 1630 in one volume and was gradually expanded. By 1640 the 'Novus Atlas' by his Joan Blaeu (1598-1673) was in three volumes and contained just 4 British Isles maps. His chief rival, the Hondius-Jansson atlas contained 18 maps. Both joined a race to make their fourth volumes a complete atlas of the British Isles. Blaeu was first, publishing his magnificent work in 1645, one year before that of Janssonís. The work of Blaeu set a standard of design, beauty and quality that arguably has never been surpassed. He went on to produce some of the highest quality atlases ever published. This map is one of the most desirable in the atlas covering the county of Oxfordshire. The Arms of Oxford's colleges are along the sides along with their dates of founding. An ornate title cartouche depicts two scholars. With a view of a stone circle on the verso in early wash colour. This is an early example from 1648 with German text. Koeman Bl47D; Skelton 28 & 44; Van der Krogt, P. (Atlantes) 5265:2.