An Anthropomorphic Map — the Lion of Belgium

Found at the front of De Bello Belgico (1651) a map showing The Netherlands and Belgium in the shape of a lion. This is known as Leo Belgicus. The book's author Famianus Strada, a Jesuit and teacher at the Collegium Romanum in Rome, was was pro-Spanish and pro-Catholic. The book is on the Dutch war of independence - the 80 year war between Spain and the Low Countries.

At auction this map can climb into four figures (dollars) and one auction catalogue says of it: 'Leo Belgicus maps are perhaps the rarest and most sought after of all antique maps. All examples of Leo Belgicus maps are scarce to rare. The first edition of this map appeared in 1632. Most editions include a smaller example of the map, making this 1651 edition one of the largest examples.' Ours sadly is not coloured but we found a decent hand coloured version online.

The lion's tail appears to be emerging from the middle of East Anglia almost exactly where this is being posted from!