Willem Blaeu’s version of Hessel Gerritsz’ rare and important map of Russia. This fine map was compiled from manuscripts brought back from Russia by Isaac Massa. Massa, born 1586, was a Dutch grain trader and diplomat who traveled extensively through Russia. He served as the envoy to Muscovy and is credited with five published maps of Russia and its provinces, the last ones compiled around 1633, and two maps of Moscow city. His rendition of the Siberian coast represented an advance in geography and for decades remained the only map of the region. It was subsequently copied by Mercator, Hondius, Janssonius, and Willem Blaeu.
This Blaeu map, a copper plate engraving, was published c.1640. It is beautifully embellished with a large title cartouche, sailing ships, a compass rose, and three Russian gentlemen. It also contains an inset view of the port of Archangel. In the upper left is a large plan of the walled city of Moscow.
Latin text appears on the verso. It is in very good condition, with original hand coloring. The map is available for sale in our Georgetown gallery. We encourage our readers to stop by and see this map in person!