Prussia accurate Descripta a Gasparo Henneberg Erlichensi.

Willem Janszoon Blaeu (*1571 - 1638)
Old coloured map of Prussia. Printed in Amsterdam by W. & J. Blaeu in 1735.

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Reference 12950

590,00 €

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First edition of the antique map of Prussia by W. Blaeu. Showing the northern part of Poland with Puck (Putzig ), Gdańsk (Danzig) and Elblag (Elbing), the Russian area around Kalingrad (Königsberg ) and the southern part of Lithuania with Klaipeda (Memel) and Palanga (Polangen). From the early Dutch edition of the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, published in 1635 by Willem and Joan Blaeu. Dutch text on verso. With an elaborately designed title cartouche.

The history of Prussia

Prussia, whose name has roots in the Old Prussians, saw significant historical developments. In the 13th century, the Teutonic Knights, an organized Catholic medieval military order of German crusaders, conquered lands inhabited by the Old Prussians. It emerged as a prominent German state in 1525, initially as a duchy centered in the region of Prussia on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea. However, its existence was effectively dissolved in 1932 when emergency powers of the Prussian government were transferred to German Chancellor Franz von Papen and officially by an Allied decree in 1947.

For many centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled over Prussia, effectively expanding its territorial holdings through a well-organized and powerful military. With its capital initially in Königsberg and later, from 1701, in Berlin, Prussia played a decisive role in shaping the history of Germany. One significant episode in its history was the Thirteen Years' War (1454-1466), which began when the Prussian Confederation, a coalition of Hanseatic cities in western Prussia, rebelled against the Teutonic Order and sought assistance from the Polish king, Casimir IV Jagiellon. The Teutonic Knights were ultimately compelled to recognize the sovereignty of and pay tribute to Casimir IV in the Second Peace of Thorn (1466), resulting in the loss of western Prussia (Royal Prussia) to Poland.

Following the Second Peace of Thorn, two distinct Prussian states were established. In 1701, Frederick William's son, Elector Frederick III, elevated Prussia from a duchy to a kingdom, and he crowned himself as King Frederick I. However, according to the Crown Treaty of 16 November 1700, Emperor Leopold I of the Holy Roman Empire allowed Frederick to title himself only as "King in Prussia," not "King of Prussia." It's important to note that the Prussian state extended beyond the region of Prussia proper, encompassing territories in Brandenburg, Pomerania, and western Germany.

The Prussian state experienced a period of cultural flourishing under the reign of King Frederick I, who patronized the arts despite the financial burden it placed on the treasury. King Frederick William II (1786-1797) oversaw the annexation of additional Polish territory through the Partitions of Poland. His successor, Frederick William III (1797-1840), made the significant announcement of the union of the Prussian Lutheran and Reformed churches into a single church.


CartographerWillem Janszoon Blaeu
TitlePrussia accurate Descripta a Gasparo Henneberg Erlichensi.
Publisher, YearW. & J. Blaeu, Amsterdam, 1735
Plate Size38.5 x 49.5 cm (15.2 x 19.5 inches)
Sheet Size48.0 x 59.0 cm (18.9 x 23.2 inches)
ReferenceVan der Krogt, P.: Koeman's Atlantes Neerlandici, 1720:2B


Lower centrefold backed. Very good copy with beautiful old colouring.


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: Prussia accurate Descripta a Gasparo Henneberg Erlichensi..
Old coloured map of Prussia. Printed in Amsterdam by W. & J. Blaeu in 1735.

Poland - Blaeu, Willem Janszoon - Prussia accurate Descripta a Gasparo...

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