3418 Wit, A. F.: Satz von 5 Karten (Set of 5 maps) Welt und Kontinente 1670

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Welt und Kontinente
Wit, A. F. de

World and Continents - Set of maps
Wit, Frederick de
copperplate engraving
57,6 x 48,8 cm

Satz Welt und Kontinente
Wit, Frederick de
ca. 1670
57,6 x 48,8 cm

World Map

One of the finest examples of global cartography of the period. Richly colored and decorated, De Wit made this world maps as a companion map to a maritime map dated 1668. There are cartographic indications on this map that indicate that it map have been made some time in the mid 1660s. Such as the outdated shape of Hudsons bay and the Great lakes. His maps are rarely dated and a frequently assigned a general date of 1680. This is a colorful and joyous double hemispheric world map. Representation of the four seasons fill the corners and symbols of the Zodiac are artistically interwoven.

Unknown regions are either blank or have some reported coastline but generally makes little attempt to fill any void. California is shown as an island. The western and northern coastlines of Australia are visible, however the continent is still connected to New Guinea. Two smaller polar projection maps are at the top and bottom. This map appeared in atlases published by De Wit and, in other versions in publications by The Jansson's heirs, Visscher and others. De Wit was based in Kalverstraat Amsterdam and in addition to world maps is known to have made sea maps and 'town books' containing views of European cities.

Regional Maps

These highly sought after regional maps all have cartouches of peoples native to the depicted lands in contemporary clothing with trade goods. Interiors contain images of known animals roughly in the area where they were known to exist. Latitude, longitude, the Polar Circles and both Tropics are intermittently shown where appropriate with a red line. The Equator is shown by a multi colored line. The regional maps are not uniform in scale. All have a simple compass rose indicating north in the oceans. The Asian and Pacific maps strategically leave out the South Pacific in the location of modern day Australia and New Zealand as it was largely unexplored by Europeans in this period.

Rodney W Shirley, The Mapping of the World, Holland Press Limited, 1984, pp 468-469
Tooley's Dictionary of Mapmakers, Early World Press, 2004, p 402

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