BLAEU, Johannes (1596-1673) Toonneel der Steden van de Vereenighe Nederlanden Met hare Beschrijvingen. [Amsterdam: 1649-1651].
2 (540 x 340mm). Text in Dutch. Additional letterpress dedication to the Prince of Sal in Arabic and Dutch printed in red and black. Engraved title with letterpress overlabel, borders decorated with the arms of the seven provinces, 128 hand-coloured engraved maps, plans and views, most double-page, extra-illustrated with 8 additional maps of Holland and the seven provinces, TITLE AND MAPS ALL FINELY HAND-COLOURED IN A CONTEMPORARY HAND AND HEIGHTENED IN GOLD AND SILVER. (Some old short tears to lower folds of several maps, affecting the engraved image in a few cases, very occasional light spotting, lower margins of a few maps lightly stained, some slightly creased at fold, lacking text leaf iiO2.) Contemporary Dutch red morocco, covers panelled in gilt with central floral arabesques and inner cornerpieces, spine in eight compartments, raised bands, each compartment with rose-tooled motifs and fleur-de-lys corner decorations, gilt edges, (extremities slightly rubbed, green silk ties a little frayed), modern morocco backed cloth box.
A MAGNIFICENT LARGE PAPER COPY OF THE FIRST VOLUME OF THE DUTCH TOWNBOOKS, ESPECIALLY ILLUMINATED AND BOUND FOR SYDI ADBULLA, PRINCE OF SAL, AS A DIPLOMATIC GIFT FROM THE STATES GENERAL. In the mid 17th century, European shipping and the Dutch East India Company (VOC) in particular, suffered a series of losses from marauding pirates based on the Barbary coast. In 1651 a special Dutch delegation led by Gideon de Wildt, and including C Tromp and Cornelius van Velsen were sent to the Prince of Sal, the leader of this group of pirates to secure a peace treaty. Despite an agreement, violations continued on both sides, but the treaty was renewed again in 1657. In 1659 an Embassy from the Prince of Sal arrived in Holland for further negotiations and a treaty was duly signed on the 22nd of October. The three ambassadors Ibrahim Duque, Ibrahim Manino and Mohamed Pinaliez all received gold chains and ordinary copies of Dutch volumes of Blaeu's townbooks. This special presentation copy of the Dutch maps of the townbooks was one of the gifts to the Prince of Sal who could not attend the Embassy, and is recorded in Olfert Dapper's history and description of Africa published in 1676. Curiously the embassy was also been charged with finding an occulist who help the ailing eyesight of the Prince's father.
The additional maps in this copy are Hollandia comitatis, Geldria ducatus, Zuphania comitatis, Zeelandia comitatis, Ultraiectum Dominum, Transisalania provincia vulgo Over-Yssel, Groninga Dominum and Frisia Occidentali. The colouring of the title and all the maps is of the highest quality, the title in gold and silver, the maps heightened in gold particularly the cartouches, scale bars, town points and compass roses, but also the rigging of ships, the clothing of figures in the landscape and other minutiae. The collation accords with Koeman Bl68a Bl70, being published soon after 1651 and incorporating various small changes of dates in the text noting events up to 1651. The translation of the Dutch dedication reads "A present from their mightinesses the States General of the United provinces, sent as a token of good fellowship to the most serene and the most eminent Prince and Lord Sydi Abdalla....Prince of Sal..May God give him his blessings and prosperity". The lot is sold with 2 pamphlets, in Dutch, printed in the Hague detailing the treaties of 1651 and 1659.