This world atlas is the result of over three decades of preparation, started when Joannes's father Willem bought in 1629 the copper plates of the Hondius maps.
It is published as separate editions in Latin, French, Dutch, German and Spanish. The basic Latin edition is divided into 11 volumes. Blaeu sought the favor of Louis XIV and the French edition is increased by more detailed texts concerning France, Asia and America, extending to 12 the total number of its volumes.
A complete copy, finely hand colored, of the Grand Atlas ou Cosmogonie Blaviane, en laquelle est exactement descrite la terre, la mer et le ciel, still in its gilded vellum binding of that time, was sold for € 490K including premium by Pierre Bergé et Associés on June 18, 2014.
On November 17 in London, Sotheby's sells a copy, also complete and colored, of the Atlas Major, sive Cosmographia Blaviana, qua solum, salum, coelum accuratissime describuntur. It is estimated £ 240K, lot 46.
A composite specimen adding to the Atlas in French a volume of navigational maps and a volume of comparison through maps between the ancient and the modern world was previously discussed in this column. It was sold for € 200K before fees by Pierre Bergé et Associés on June 20, 2008.
SOLD for £ 580K including premium