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Willem & Jan Blaeu: Tabula Islandiae

Map: SCAN2481
Cartographer: Willem & Jan Blaeu
Title: Tabula Islandiae
Date: c. 1650
Published: Amsterdam
Width: 20 inches / 51 cm
Height: 15 inches / 39 cm
Map ref: SCAN2481
Richly embellished map of Iceland by one of the leading families of the Dutch Golden Age. Adorned with sea monsters, sailing ships, and an image of Mt. Hekla erupting.

This map is derived from a c.1620 map by Jodocus Hondius, the copperplate for which was acquired by Blaeu after Hondius' death. Hondius derived his geography partly from Ortelius and Mercator, but also from a Dutch navigator called Joris Carolus who spent much of his life traveling in the northern seas, and likely visited Iceland on many occasions. He is credited on this map as "Georgio Carolo Flandro" (Joris Carolus of Flanders).

The rather crude and compressed shape of Iceland used by Blaeu and Hondius was one of the longest-lasting depictions of the island and was used as the standard model for well over a century. This is partly a reflection of the dominance of the Blaeu and Hondius/Jansson families, but also an indication of how little new information about Iceland was being collected during this period.

German descriptive text on verso in gothic script. Original hand-colour. [SCAN2481]