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Willem Blaeu
"Mappa Aestivarum Insularum alias Barmudas . . ." [Bermuda]
From: Atlas Major
Amsterdam, 1630
Slaughter 923

To his Dutch version of the popular John Speed map, Blaeu has added a magnificent cartouche with Neptune boldly astride the royal coat of arms of England, cradling an English ship. The Virginia Company coat of arms, and the roundel commemorating shipwrecks off Bermuda, have been reversed from the earlier map; otherwise, much is the same, with no updating on the map itself.

Map collectors might seek two such similar maps for the fun of comparison and contrast. What has been borrowed, deleted, reversed, revised, from one map to the other? And what about those very adult, distinctive faces on the putti at the upper left - who might they represent? If this is a newly engraved copper plate, and it is, how has it been changed from the Speed plate?

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EPO, 1998