Regarded to this day as the first atlas of Scotland, volume five of Blaeu’s Theatrum Orbis Terrarum is a highlight of our forthcoming auction of Rare Books, Manuscripts, Maps & Photography in Edinburgh on 31 January 2019.
Blaeu’s Theatrum Orbis Terrarum comprises volume five of the six-volume French text edition of Blaeu's Theatrum. Containing maps and descriptions of Scotland and Ireland, the Theatrum was published in Amsterdam in 1654. With fifty-five hand-coloured engraved maps, each volume of the work was published separately between 1635 and 1655, in several languages.
In its era, the Theatrum was considered to be the most comprehensive and accurate atlas produced, with volume five being regarded to this day as the first atlas of Scotland. Using many maps developed by the cartographer, Pont. forty-nine of the maps are of Scotland and six depict Ireland. It is unusual to find this volume of the atlas, complete with all fifty-five maps and one hundred and fifty-four pages of accompanying description, in a handsome and contemporary vellum binding.
Alongside this historic work, there is a large collection of works on travel and topography from the Library of the late John Bury (lots 47 – 92); as well as John Thomson’s The Atlas of Scotland and a collection of works by Captain James Cook including An Account of the Voyages…for Making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere included in the 31 January auction.