“NOVA VIRGINIÆ TABVLA” John Smith. Amsterdam: Willem J. Blaeu, c. 1640. Verso: French. Derivative 1, State 2. Important foundation map of the Chesapeake Bay! Extremely fine original engraved map with original hand-coloring.(Ref: Potter: Antique Maps, p. 153 - illus; Tooley: The Mapping of America, pl 69; Burden #193). (Image: 14 ¾ x 18 7/8’’)
This important map of Virginia is beautifully engraved & detailed. It is the earliest of nine derivatives of the map of Captain John Smith. The Smith map was the first printed map of Virginia & therefore had profound impact on the mapping of the colony - serving as the basic prototype of the region.
This map identifies various settlements & reflects information gathered by Smith’s early explorations of the area. Upper left has a large view of King Powhatan & his court judging Capt. Smith.
The upper right displays a coat-of-arms surmounted by a crown & circled by the symbol of the garter. Under the coat-of-arms is a native Indian holding a bow in the left hand & a club in the right.
Smith’s explorations & discoveries of the area were first published by William Hole, c. 1612. J. Hondius published the first continental version of the map in 1618. This plate was then purchased by Blaeu & published in his Atlas with only the imprint altered (Jodocus Hondius can be seen faintly under the name of Blaeu’s).