Posted by: Alexandre Borovik | April 1, 2009

Terrarum Orbis Geographica, 1630-58

Discovered in a complimentary copy of  The Daily Telegraph, on a plane: Lot 230 of  Dominic Winter‘s auction onWednesday 8 April 2009 commencing at 11am:

Blaeu, Terrarum Orbis Geographica, 1630-58

Blaeu, Terrarum Orbis Geographica, 1630-58

I am in a process of collaborating on a paper on cartography, therefore such stuff is of great interest to me. Unfortunately, I have no estimated £3000 — £4000 needed to buy the map.

From the catalogue: Blaeu (Willem J.), Nova Totius Terrarum Orbis Geographica Ac Hydrographica Tabula, [1630-58], hand col. eng. map, engraved by Josua van den Ende and decorated along the horizontal borders with allergorical vignettes of the known planets and seven vignette views of the seven wonders of the world, together with four tablets in each of the vertical borders representing the four elements and the four seasons, three elaborate strap work cartouches and two oval inset maps of the north & south poles, the whole decorated with numerous sea monsters and galleons, one well repaired closed tear, 405 x 545 mm, Dutch text on verso, mounted. 


The catalogue entry says nothing about the remarkable mathematical features of the map: it is in Mercator projections, with polar regions shown separately in stereographic projection. Is it the first use of this combination of two conformal maps of the sphere on the plane?



  1. One of the most interesting maps I stumbled across was the recently found one by Olaus Magnus illustrating his history book:
    Like the wood cuts for his book, the map is a fascinating achievement in the visualisation of informations.

    other more or less interesting map collections:

    Secrets in rare cartography:–sir112007.php

    A strange cold war relict: Soviet Military Maps of Britain

    The “Worldmapper”:

    An etymological map:

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