Catalog Archive
Auction 138, Lot 80

"Novissima et Accuratissima Totius Americae Descriptio", Wit, Frederick de

Subject: Western Hemisphere

Period: 1675 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

22.8 x 19.3 inches
57.9 x 49 cm

This is a close derivative of Nicolas Visscher's influential map of the Americas. However, the island of California and the Great Lakes are shown on the Sanson model. In the Southwest, the Rio del Norto flows from a large interior lake and empties into the sea between the mainland and California. In South America, the mythical lakes Parime Lacus and Xarayes are prominent and a battle scene and village appear in the Brazilian interior. The map is embellished with two large cartouches that were also copied from Visscher. The top cartouche depicts angels struggling with a devil for the soul of a Native American. The pictorial title cartouche contains scenes of gold panning, hunting and a native chief standing beneath an umbrella. The only change De Wit made was that the chief is standing on the left rather than on the right as in Visscher's composition. This is the more decorative first state with numerous ships sailing the seas.

References: Burden #465; McLaughlin #49; Tooley p. 120 #30; Wheat [TMW] #52.

Condition: B+

A fine impression on watermarked paper with a long centerfold separation that has been expertly repaired. Three minute holes along the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn at left have been infilled, and there are professional paper repairs in blank margins.

Estimate: $1,600 - $1,900

Sold for: $1,200

Closed on 12/7/2011