BLAEU, Willem and Joan. Toonneel des Aerdrijcx, ofte Nieuwe Atlas. Amsterdam: Johannes Blaeu, 1649-50-48.
4 volumes, 2° (530 x 341 mm). Text in Dutch. One half-title, 6 engraved allegorical or pictorial titles HEIGHTENED WITH GOLD, some with letterpress text labels, 334 engraved maps, plans, views, and plates, mostly double-page (some folding, full-page or within text), all mounted on guards and COLORED THROUGHOUT BY A CONTEMPORARY HAND, printed index leaf at the end of each volume. Publisher's Dutch red morocco over wooden boards, covers paneled in gilt with central gilt arabesque and large floral corner pieces, surrounded by 8 large floral designs within roll-tooled borders, spine gilt in nine compartments, two later brass clasps, gilt edges (some minor rubbing).
Volume I: World, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Germany and Holland. 2 engraved hand-colored architectural titles HEIGHTENED WITH GOLD, second with letterpress title overslip, half-title with hand-colored woodcut illustrations, 120 engraved maps (113 double-page, 6 folding and one half page). (A few creases, a few repaired tears, some occasional minor staining.) This copy as described in Koeman Bl 29B (“There also exists a copy of this first volume of 1650 (1649) in which the old folded maps of the Borysthenes  and Lithuaniae  still occur [Royal Library Brussel]”.)
Volume II: France, Spain, Africa, Asia and the Americas. 2 engraved hand-colored architectural titles HEIGHTENED WITH GOLD, both with letterpress title overslips, 92 engraved maps (91 double-page, one folding). (Folding map with short tear at fold and slight staining, “Nova Bergica” and “Nova Virginiae” with slight browning and staining, a few creases, some occasional minor staining.) With 15 maps of the Americas. The volume includes the map of China, has the order of the maps of Aragon and Navarre reversed, and collates similarly to Koeman Bl 28.
Volume III: Italy, Greece, Scotland and Ireland. Engraved hand-colored architectural titles HEIGHTENED WITH GOLD, with letterpress title overslip, 62 engraved maps (58 double-page, one full-page and 3 half-page) and 2 additional double-page maps of Scotland and Ireland. (Some occasional minor browning and staining mostly to text.) This copy includes the addition of the section title and maps of Scotland and Ireland normally bound in the 1647 Dutch issue of volume IV. See Bl 45B and Bl 38A.
Volume IV: England and Wales. Engraved hand-colored architectural titles HEIGHTENED WITH GOLD, with letterpress title overslip, 58 engraved maps (57 double-page, one single-page) and 3 half-page engraved hand-colored illustrations in text. (Very minor marginal dampstaining to first few leaves.) Collates according to Koeman Bl 45A but dated 1648.
A DELUXE COPY OF THE THEATRUM, IN CONTEMPORARY RED MOROCCO AND WITH EXCEPTIONALLY FINE CONTEMPORARY COLORING. A fine set of the first four volumes of the Dutch edition of Willem Blaeu's Theatrum Orbis Terrarum first published in German in two volumes (1634) followed by a set in Dutch a year later. Volumes 5 and 6 were not printed until 1654 and 1655. “The Dutch edition of Blaeu’s Theatrum Orbis Terrarum is the most complicated of the editions of this atlas. The text was reset entirely at least four times, and the general title page shows many different dates from 1642 to 1661. However, the resetting of the text and the change of the date on the title page were not at the same time. Thus we find the second edition of the text with title pages dated 1647 as well as 1649… Since the number of sheets of printed maps in stock varied, sheets from older editions were sometimes included in newer editions, making innumerable variants” (van der Krogt, p. 169). The coloring of this copy is particularly fine; both the heightening in gold on the titles and the detailed work on the cartouches throughout suggest that it was finished specially for a noble client. See Koeman references above.