BLAEU, Johannes (1596-1673). Theatrum Statuum Regiae Celsitudinis Sabaudiae Ducis, Pedemontii principis, ... pars prima, exhibens Pedemontium ... pars altera illustrans Sabaudiam. Amsterdam: heirs of Johannes Blaeu, 1682.
First edition of the Townbooks of Northern Italy, one of the greatest topographical works of the Baroque period, magnificently bound in Amsterdam by Albert Magnus for Frederik Willem van Loon. Magnus appears to have been Blaeu's main binder; in 1674 he opened a shop called 'In den Atlas' on the Nieuwendijk. Van Loon was a regent of Amsterdam who, as H. de la Fontaine Verwey has shown, acted as guarantor for Albert Magnus when the latter ran into debt due to a customer's non-payment for binding work. 'It was for him that Magnus bound a magnificent collection of atlases, consisting of the Dutch Blaeu-atlas in nine volumes, Blaeu's descriptions of Netherlandish towns in two volumes, three volumes of Blaeu's descriptions of Italian towns, and two volumes with maps of France. The bindings were made of red morocco leather with double borders; in the middle were the quartered arms of Van Loon-Bas, with the device 'virtus sibi ipsa merces', and in the corners the elegant monogram F.W.V.L. As the inventory made after Van Loon's death shows, these sixteen volumes were kept in an olive-wood cabinet. These volumes have remained together ... and are now in the Dutch Historical Maritime Museum in Amsterdam ... In addition to the volumes kept in the cabinet, Van Loon possessed a number of geographical works, bound by Magnus in the same style. Seven of these bindings have been preserved' (H. de la Fontaine Verwey, ‘The binder Albert Magnus and the collectors of his age’, in: Quaerendo 1 (1971), p. 172-173). The present lot represents two volumes of these seven.
Blaeu originally planned a gigantic multi-volume atlas of the towns and monuments of Italy, but in the event, Blaeu only saw the three volumes relating to the Ecclesiastical States, Rome, and Naples and Sicily through the press, with the present two volumes on Piedmont and Savoy being published posthumously. Van der Krogt 43:311.1-2.
2 volumes, large folio (572 x 359mm). Latin text. Engraved allegorical frontispieces, arms of Emanuel II, 4 portraits of the Duchesse of Savoy and Emanuel II, double-page engraved genealogical table of the house of Savoy, 134 engraved maps, plans and views, of which 8 folding, 124 double-page (some variable browning, spotting and soiling throughout, letterpress title in vol. I with light marginal ink stain). Contemporary red morocco by Albert Magnus, panelled in gilt with a wide outer border composed of an outer roll of alternating foliate sprays and fleur-de-lys, and an inner roll of alternating fruits and birds sandwiched between dotted rolls and fillets, enlosing a central panel of dotted rolls, fillets and two stylized rolls with cornerpieces composed of volutes, with the quartered arms of Van Loon-Bas with the motto 'virtus sibi ipsa merces', and in the corners the monogram F.W.V.L. nestled against large palm fronds, spine in 11 compartments, tan morocco gilt letterpieces in the second and third compartments, the others elaborately gilt, marbled endpapers, gilt turn-ins and edges (the binding in bright condition; lacking silk ties, extremities faintly rubbed). Provenance: Frederik Willem van Loon (1644-1708, Amsterdam alderman and councillor; binding).