Atlas of the Great Elector (Mauritius Atlas)

Atlas of the Great Elector (Mauritius Atlas) Facsimile Edition

Amsterdam (Netherlands) — 1661

A book as big as a mattress: the atlas measuring 2.2 x 1.7 meters as a gigantic gift from Johann Moritz Prince of Nassau-Siegen to Elector Friedrich Wilhelm I of Brandenburg from the year 1664

  1. Elector Friedrich Wilhelm I of Brandenburg (1620–88) is known as “the Great Elector” for his achievements

  2. His atlas contains 53 maps including 35 double-pages made by the best map printers in Amsterdam

  3. The hand-colored copperplate engravings and etchings are adorned by Baroque decorative elements

Atlas of the Great Elector (Mauritius Atlas)

gr. 2"@Kart. B 396 Staatsbibliothek Berlin (Berlin, Germany)
  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Atlas of the Great Elector (Mauritius Atlas)

This giant atlas was created in 1664 as a costly gift from Prince John Maurice of Nassau-Siegen to Elector Friedrich Wilhelm I of Brandenburg, popularly known as “the Great Elector” because of his achievements as a political and military leader. It comprises 53 maps, 35 of them double-pages, created by twelve different Amsterdam map printers including Joan Blaeu and was later installed as a show piece in the Electoral Library at Cölln (Berlin). Most of the maps are hand colored copperplate engravings, the rest etchings, with ornate Baroque decorative elements ranging from between 4 to 25 individual sheets and feature detailed explanatory notes. This cartographic treasure is protected by a leather binding with three brass clasps as well as brass corners and a medallion with John Maurice’s coat of arms, while the recipient’s coat of arms adorns the frontispiece opposite the title page. The original was one of the largest books ever made, weighing 125 kilograms and measuring 2.2 x 1.7 meters when opened. Despite being half the size of the original, the creation of the facsimile was one of the most expensive undertakings of its kind.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Mauritius-Atlas
Kurfürstenatlas
Size / Format
158 pages / 175.0 x 115.0 cm
Date
1661
Style
Illustrations
53 colored maps
Artist / School
Previous Owners
Elector Frederick William I of Brandenburg

Available facsimile editions:
Belser Verlag – Stuttgart, 1971
Limited Edition: 50 copies
Facsimile Editions

#1 Atlas des Großen Kurfürsten (Mauritius-Atlas) - Vorzusgausgabe

Belser Verlag – Stuttgart, 1971

Publisher: Belser Verlag – Stuttgart, 1971
Limited Edition: 50 copies
Commentary: 1 volume by Egon Klemp
Language: English, German
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) Format of facsimile: 79.0 x 50.0 cm; Leather binding with fittings, the coat of arms of Brandenburg-Prussia and three clasps in brass finish
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