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Sold a little under estimate for $230,000 (£180,780) at Christies New York (25/20/12.5%) on December 4, this copy of the third, Latin text edition of 1649-52 is thought likely to have been intended for presentation to Philip IV of Spain, said the cataloguer.

The work is illustrated with 228 engraved maps, plans and views, most of which are double-page and all of which exhibit contemporary, gilt-heightened colouring.

Shown above are both the handsome binding and, instead of a town view or plan, a splendid double-page plate depicting a large sand yacht. That depicted here, according to one online source, was built by Simon Stevin for Prince Maurice of Orange, who used it for entertaining his guests.

When previously offered at auction, at Sotheby’s in London in 1979, this fine copy of Blaeu’s townbook sold at £39,000.