BLAEU, Johannes (1596-1673) – [Frederick de WIT (1629/1630-1706)]. [Vol. I:] Toonneel der Steden van Gelderlandt en Holland … [Vol. II:] Toonneel der Steden van Zeelandt, Uytrecht, Vrieslandt, Overyssel, Groeningen, en die de Vereenighde Staten verovert hebben [Vol. III:] – Toonneel der Steden van 's Konings Nederlanden, met hare beschrijvingen. Amsterdam: Johannes Blaeu, [but Frederick de Wit c.1700].
A superb extra-illustrated copy of Blaeu’s famous town atlases of the Netherlands, bound in its splendid original vellum binding, with a total of 315 engravings, most of which double-page. ‘Of all the Blaeu atlases, the town atlases of the Netherlands are held in the highest esteem ... [Produced at] the most dramatic and heroic period of the shaping of the Dutch State, it shows the proud and industrious cities of the North in their full splendour’ (Van der Krogt, IV-1, p.299). First published in Latin in 1649, Blaeu then produced a Dutch edition in 1652, with a total of 225 plates. Its popularity showed no sign of waning, and thus Visscher published an edition sometime between 1673-1682 supplemented with a further 68 plates, adding provincial maps and topographical prints.
The present work, published by Frederick de Wit in about 1700, incorporates many of Visscher's additional plates, and increases the plate count to a total of 315. For example, it includes 3 (of 4) of Visscher’s suite of engravings of Leiden University by J.C. Woudanus and engraved by Willem van Swanenburgh (Hollstein XXIX, Van Swanenburg(h) 29-32; the anatomy theatre, university library and botanical garden). Some of the main maps added by Visscher have been replaced by de Wit productions; he also includes a number of plates from Pieter Hendricksz Schut's Theatrum praecipuarum urbium ducatus Brabantiae necnon comitatum Flandriae et Zelandiae (1660), 6 architectural prints of the façades of the Amsterdam town hall, a portrait of Erasmus, and a folding print on 2 joined sheets of the steeple of Mechelen cathedral by Wenceslaus Hollar. The engraved titles with letterpress overslips correspond to those described by Van der Krogt IV-1, p.361; the set collates as per Van der Krogt IV-1, 43:121.1-43:121.2, but the extra-illustration does not precisely match the listing of additional prints described by Van der Krogt in the Visscher/de Wit editions under 43:121A.
2 volumes bound in 3, folio (558 x 374mm). Vol. I, Gelderlandt: engraved title with letterpress overslip ‘Toonneel der Steden van Gelderlandt en Holland’, new settings of ‘Extract uyt de Privilegie’ and privilege of Louis XIV of France, 2 letterpress part-titles, 77 engraved plates comprising 46 called for by Van der Krogt, and extra-illustrated with 31 engravings, some of which mounted (Van der Krogt plate 30 in issue 3-4, VdK plates 32 and 33a-d in issue 4, VdK pl. 40a-d in issue 1-2, occasional browning and spotting, mostly confined to margins). Vol. II, Zeelandt: engraved title with letterpress overslip ‘Toonneel der Steden van Zeelandt, Uytrecht, Vrieslandt, Overyssel, Groeningen, en die de Vereenighde Staten verovert hebben', 6 letterpress part-titles, 118 engraved plates comprising 83 called for by Van der Krogt, and extra-illustrated with 35 engravings, some of which mounted (Vdk pl. 67 in state 2 with engraving 'Pons Campensis' in text on viBr, VdK pl. 121 in state 3, a couple of plates with tiny marginal tears, some backing papers of mounted plates browned but not affecting prints). Vol. III, Konings Nederlanden: engraved title with letterpress overslip 'Toonneel der Steden van 's Konings Nederlanden, Met hare Beschrijvingen', 8 letterpress part-titles, 120 engraved plates comprising 96 called for by Van der Krogt, and extra-illustrated with 24 engravings, some of which mounted (some minor marginal spotting and staining mainly confined to beginning and end). Original binding of publisher's vellum over thick pasteboard, covers gilt-panelled and roll-tooled, with cornerpieces of gilt crowns and blindstamped acorns, enclosing blocked central arabesque, spine in 13 compartments, lettered in black in second and third, the others with small gilt foliate centrepieces, red sprinkled leaf edges (extremities lightly rubbed, one corner to vol. III abraded).