Switzerland

001315
  • Author: Willem Janszoon Blaeu
  • Date: 1640
  • Medium: Hand-colored engraving
  • Condition: Excellent
  • Inches: 15 3/8" x 20 1/8"
  • Centimeters: 39.42 x 51.60
  • Price: Sold
Description:

HELVETIA, cum finitimis regionibus confoederatis, from Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, Willem Blaeu, Amsterdam.

A highly detailed map of Switzerland, based on Gerard Mercator's map of the same title. This map is rich in fine detail and information, down to the names of small villages, and the many and various clusters of mountains. Lake Geneva is in the lower left.

The title of the map is derived from the name of the Helvetii, a Celtic tribe living on the Swiss plateau before the Roman era. The name of the Helvetii is attested epigraphically, in Etruscan form, on a vessel dated to ca. 300 BC.

In the lower right are two figures clasping right hands and giving a two-finger salute, the meaning of which is not clear, but in light of the fact that Switzerland was torn by religious civil war at the time the map was created, we may assume that the salute is a sign of solidarity, perhaps related to the traditional papal gesture of blessing.
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