Map size in jpg-format: 61.152MiB
English Edition of Vrients Map of the British Isles
Old color example of Vrients map of the British Isles, which appeared first appeared in the 1606 (English) edition of Ortelius' Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, the first modern atlas of the World
Vrients map is one of the most elegantly engraved and distinctively designed maps of the British Isles to appear in a commercial atlas. In 1601 Antwerp publisher Jan Baptist Vrients, after the great cartographer's death, took over publication of the Theatrum ..., gradually adding new maps, though not necessarily replacing existing plates.
Among the new maps was this of England, Wales and Ireland, with a genealogical table for the English Royal Family, at top right, and engraving, "... of the highest standard with artistically placed sea monsters, galleons, a mermaid, Neptune, and other decorative features" (Shirley). Here in its second state, with re-engraved panel removing the dedication to James I.
As noted in Van Den Broecke, there are 3 states of the map:
Whether the removal of James' dedication and the change in his circle in the tree occurred exactly at the same time is unclear. This information is based on Shirley and a thorough analysis by Arthur L. Kelly, in his essay Maps of the British Isles, England and Wales, and Ireland:
Vrients commissioned two new maps depicting countries in the British Isles for the 1606 English text edition of the Theatrum. The first shows England, Wales and Ireland as well as the genealogy of the English Monarchy from William the Conqueror in 1066 through the date of publication . . .
. . . Shirley notes that the model for the map . . . was clearly the anonymous but similar 1594 map with a genealogical chart and dedication to Queen Elizabeth (Shirley 177) which in turn was based on Jodocus Hondius Senior's 1592 map, also with a genealogical table and similar dedication (Shirley 164). . . .
State 1 . . . is distinguished from later states by the dedication to James I as King of Great Britain, France and Ireland . . . The next edition . . . appeared in 1608 with Italian text . . . contained a dedication to Pope Clement VIII . . . neither the Catholic Church nor Italy, a Catholic Country, recognized James I, a Protestant, as King of France . . . then ruled by Henry IV, a loyal Catholic. Therefore, . . . [the dedication] to James I as King of Great Britain, France and Ireland created a marketing problem for Vrients. . . . Vrients solved the problem by having small pieces of paper printed, each containing new language appropriate for the Catholic Italian market, and then having these slips pasted over the panels which contained the offending dedication to James I. . .
By the time of the 1609 Latin text edition . . . Vrients had apparently had time to . . . remove all references to James as King of either France or Ireland, thus creating [the final state of the map.]
The text added in the panels reads:
Unum quae ad Dominum Brittania tota redisti, Una tibi o, redat sic quoque prisca Fides.
Translation: You, Britain, who have come together wholly under one Ruler, May you also return to one ancient faith.
This English edition, the first edition of the map, is very rare on the market.
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