“DIOCESE DE RHEIMS…...” Amsterdam: Willem J. Blaeu, c. 1635. Fine engraved map with original hand-coloring. Verso text: Latin. (Image : 16 ¼ X 20 ¾ ’’)
This very attractive early 17th century map depicts Reims Department in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France. The city of Reims is on the Vesle River, a tributary of the Aisne, and the Marne-Aisne canal. It is situated in the vine-growing country in which champagne wine is produced. Reims river port is one of the most important in France. Together with Épernay, it forms the industrial center of the champagne wine district.
Most towns, cities, forests and waterways are identified. The beautiful and intricate title cartouche and elaborate coat-of-arms further enhance the map.
Blaeu was founder of the leading 17th century Dutch cartographic firm. “The achievements of the firms of Blaeu were remarkable, & the palm for supremacy in map production in any age must be awarded to the Blaeu” (Tooley: Maps & Map-Makers, p. 33).