1640 Tabula Islandiae Auctore Georgio Carolo Flandro.
1640 Tabula Islandiae Auctore Georgio Carolo Flandro.
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1640 Tabula Islandiae Auctore Georgio Carolo Flandro.

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Tabula Islandiae Auctore Georgio Carolo Flandro.

By: Willem Blaeu

Date: 1640 (Published) Amsterdam

Dimensions: 14.75 x 19.25 inches (36.47 x 48.9 cm)

This lovely colored map of Iceland was published by Willem Blaeu. It is based on a classic in the history of mapmaking, the renowned Ortelius map of 1585, which was the first relatively accurate map of Iceland. The information for Ortelius’ map was taken from indigenous Icelandic sources, presumably from the works of Bishop Gudbrandur Thorlaksson.  We see in this map of some fifty plus years later that geographically, little has changed in the representation of the island.

Mount Helka is shown erupting which is very accurate as it is the most active volcano in Iceland with more than twenty documented eruptions since 874 AD. Interesting notes can be found in Latin which include two springs known to change white wool black and black wool white (located in the southwest portion of the island), and a notation of a 'shape shifting serpent that terrorizes the locals' found in a long inlet bay of the eastern coast. A scene of a sailing Dutch tall-ship firing its cannons upon sea monsters, and two compass roses further embellish the map. 

Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571 – 1638) was a prominent Dutch cartographer. Born to a family in the merchant class, Blaeu chose mathematics and astronomy at university, studying with the famed Danish nobleman/astronomer Tycho Brahe, whose observations became the basis for a new understanding of the universe, with whom Blaeu perfected his instrument and globe making skills.

Condition: This map is in B condition with original color and wide margins on all sides. The centerfold has been reinforced on the verso with archival materials and some tears do exist though confined to the margins.

Inventory #11475

1932 S. Halsted St. #200 Chicago, IL 60608 | P: (312) 496 - 3622

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