BLAEU, Jan. Geographia Blavianae volumen sextum, quo liber XII, XIII, Europae continentur [Scotia, Hibernia]. Amsterdam, J. Blaeu, 1662.
Two parts in one volume, imperial folio (560 x 350 mm). Publisher's full vellum with yapp edges, richly blocked in gilt; pp. [xxiv], 169; [ii], 49, , with hand-coloured additional engraved title, coloured engraved vignette on typographical title and 55 (54 double-page) engraved maps, all in publisher's hand-colouring with heightening in gold, one coloured engraving in the text; spine with a few slits near head, ties cut away, occasional light browning, as usual, fly-leaves removed at an early stage, to prevent offsetting, otherwise a very good copy of a magnificent and early atlas covering Scotland with 49 maps and Ireland with six.
First edition of this volume of Blaeu's celebrated Atlas maior, an ambitious 12-volume enterprise of the biggest world atlas, which in the end bankrupted his cartographic business with the largest printshop of the world at the time. 'The Blaeu Atlas Maior or Cosmographia Blaviana is one of the largest and most splendid of the multi-volume Dutch world atlases. Published in 1662-5, its 594 maps and 3,368 pages of texts collectively presented the state of geographic knowledge of the world in the mid 17th century. Volume VI of the work was devoted to maps of Scotland and Ireland, bringing forward the original mapping of Scotland from the work of Timothy Pont, first published in Blaeu’s Atlas novus of 1654, into their final published form. The Atlas Maior was the most expensive book that could be acquired in the mid-17th century - a lavish and splendid item for display by its powerful and wealthy customers … This volume, containing 49 maps of Scotland and 6 of Ireland, along with 170 pages of descriptive text, was originally published as Volume V of Blaeu’s Atlas novus in 1654. The maps are largely the work of Timothy Pont (ca. 1583-1614), with additions by Robert Gordon of Straloch and his son James Gordon of Rothiemay (ca. 1636-1652) … Although there were minor corrections to the text (particularly from Sir John Scot of Scotstarvit) and the text was reset for the Atlas Maior edition of 1662, the only changes to map plates were the addition of compass bearings and ships on 28 map plates where they were originally lacking.' (National Library of Scotland, online). These ships and the sometimes figurative cartouches make the maps particularly lively and charming. The scale of the maps is rather large (half an inch to the mile, even sometimes two thirds of an inch to a mile), in fact so large, that they might be detailed enough for walking.
Koeman I, p. 216 ff.; Van der Krogt 2, 402.