Maritima Brasiliae Universae - Qua Patet Orbis

Willem Janszoon Blaeu (*1571 - 1638)
Old coloured map of Brazil. Printed in Amsterdam by Joan Blaeu in 1652.

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Reference 12969

2 900,00 €

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This very rare coastal map of Brazil, issued separately, is based on Joan Blaeu's monumental 1647 wall map of Dutch Brazil. This sheet is the lower left part of the wall map compiled by the German scholar Georg Marggraf. The map shows the coastline of Brazil from Rio de San Francisco to S. Sebastian within a representation of a horn of plenty.

Blaeu's wall map was titled Brasilia qua parte paret Belgis and is based on fresh topographical data collected by Dutch explorers, including insights from Georg Marcgraf's 1643 map. Marcgraf's original map not only outlined the northeast coast of Brazil, an area under the control of the Dutch West Indies Company from 1624 to 1654, but also featured striking illustrations executed by Frans Post. These illustrations depicted opulent sugar mill plantations and scenes of harmonious interaction between indigenous peoples and Dutch settlers.

The map described here is the lower left part of Blaeu's wall map. It is likely that this section was separately re-engraved and re-issued as part of a 9-sheet wall map by Rombout Van Den Hoeye in 1652. Van den Hoeye's printing plates were probably used again by Clemendt de Jonghe when he re-issued the wall map in 1664. Also Hugo Allard reissues the den Hoeye map in 1659. (Source:, Georg Marcgraf / Rombout Van Den Hoeye "Brasilia qua parte paret Belgis")

Georg Marcgrave (1610-1644) was a notable German naturalist, explorer and astronomer. His posthumously published work, "Historia Naturalis Brasiliae", stands as a significant contribution to early modern science.


CartographerWillem Janszoon Blaeu
TitleMaritima Brasiliae Universae - Qua Patet Orbis
Publisher, YearJoan Blaeu, Amsterdam, 1647 [1652]
Plate Size39.1 x 52.8 cm (15.4 x 20.8 inches)
Sheet Size50.0 x 60.0 cm (19.7 x 23.6 inches)
ReferenceWhitehead, Peter: The Marcgraf Map of Brazil, The Map Collector 40 (1987).


Outer blank right corner replaced, some wear to central fold. Very good condition.


Willem Janszoon Blaeu was born 1571 in Alkmaar. He was trained from 1594 to 1596 by the famous danish astronomer Tycho Brahe. 1599 he went to Amsterdam and founded a business as globe maker. Later he started producing map and sea charts, including his first world map in 1605. In 1633 he was appointed Hydrographer for the Dutch East India Company (VOC). His most famous work was the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum sive Atlas Novus of 1635, which was published until 1655 in total six volumes. After Blaeu's death in 1638 his sons Joan and Cornelis continued the business and finished the Atlas Novus and started an even larger work, the Atlas Maior, which reached 12 volumes. In 1672 a fire destroyed the printing house and most of the printing plates. Joan Blaeu died the following year, leaving the business to his three sons Willem (1635-1701), Pieter (1637-1706) and Joan II (1650-1712). While the business began to decline in the hands of his sons, the dominance of the Blaeu publishing house finally ended in 1703 when the V.O.C. stopped publishing maps bearing the Blaeu family name. Some of the surviving plates were bought by F. de Wit and Schenk & Valk.

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Willem Janszoon Blaeu: Maritima Brasiliae Universae - Qua Patet Orbis.
Old coloured map of Brazil. Printed in Amsterdam by Joan Blaeu in 1652.

South America - Blaeu, Willem Janszoon - Maritima Brasiliae Universae - Qua Patet...

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