The Nassau Strait
By BLAEU, Johannes , 1665

Fretum Nassovium vulgo De Straet Nassov.

Europe Scandinavia
  • Author: BLAEU, Johannes
  • Publication place: Amsterdam
  • Publication date: 1665.
  • Physical description: Engraved map in contemporary hand-colour, set within text.
  • Dimensions: 250 by 550mm. (9.75 by 21.75 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 9692


Sea chart of the area known as the Nassau Strait to the south of Novaya Zemlya. The Novaya Zemlya archipelago is situated in Arctic Ocean in the north of Russia and the extreme north-east of Europe. Western Europeans, in particular the Dutch, began to explore the area in the late sixteenth century in search of the Northeast Passage.

The map appeared in the ‘Atlas Major’, which, in its various editions, was the largest atlas ever published. It was justly famed for its production values, its high typographic standard, and the quality of its engraving, ornamentation, binding and colouring. The atlas frequently served as the official gift of the Dutch Republic to princes and other authorities. It is one of the most lavish and highly prized of all seventeenth-century illustrated books.


  1. Van der Krogt
  2. Shirley, British Library.
  3. Brotton, 265-290
  4. S. Kramer, 'Ex bibliotheca Reisachiorum', Scriptorium 34 (1980), pp.91-95