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Richly illustrated world map, created by Frederick de Wit in 1660 and published in editions of the Zee-Atlas of Hendrik Doncker from 1660 until 1670. This was De Wit’s first world map. He derived it from the two hemisphere maps from Blaeu’s wall map of 1648, reducing them in scale and making some changes. The upper corners contain northern and southern celestial maps and the lower corners show north and south polar projections. In the bottom center are astronomical diagrams -- a geocentric one on the left and a Copernican one on the right. The top center vignette shows the sun encircled by a zodiacal ring. Between the maps and diagrams are four vignettes with allegorical depictions of the Four Elements (air, fire, earth and water). The map also includes Baroque decorations of garlands of fruit and flowers. A magnificent example of the art of mapmaking, this map is one of only 19 reproduced in color in Shirley’s major scholarly work on world maps of the 15th to 17th centuries. In accompanying text, the author states that “[e]specially when richly coloured, De Wit’s map is one of the most decorative standard-size maps of the time and it is much less commonly found than his three other atlas world maps.”
Frederick de Wit was founder of a prominent map publishing firm in 17th century Amsterdam, the golden age of Dutch cartography. The de Wit family both published their own atlases and supplied maps to other cartographers such as Hendrik Doncker. As map historian R.V. Tooley wrote, “[t]he 17th century is the century par excellence of the decorative coloured map.” De Wit’s maps exemplify that style. Some of them continued to be republished well into the 18th century.
Inscription lower center: “t’Amsterdam by Frederick de Wit in de Calverstraat inde Witte Pascaart 1660.”
Shirley, Rodney W. The Mapping of the World: Early Printed World Maps 1472-1700. London: Holland Press, 1983. 421, plate 311; 444.
Tooley, R.V. Maps and Map-Makers. New York: Bonanza Books, 1970. p. 113.