Catalog Archive
Auction 157, Lot 708

One of the Finest Charts Showing California as an Island

"Magnum Mare del Zur cum Insula California / De Groote Zuyd-Zee en 't Eylandt California", Wit, Frederick de

Subject: Pacific Ocean, California

Period: 1680 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

22.3 x 19.3 inches
56.6 x 49 cm
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This is the first state of De Wit's superb mariner's chart of the Pacific Ocean showing the island of California. California is depicted with an indented northern coast on the second Sanson model, copied from Pieter Goos' Paskaerte van Nova Granada, en t'Eylandt California from 1666. The important Dutch discoveries are noted on the northern coast of Australia, Carpentaria, New Guinea, Anthoni van Diemens Landt (Tasmania) and New Zealand. North of Japan the discoveries of De Vries are shown along with disembodied sections of 't Land van Eso and Compagnies Lant. De Wit has omitted the chain of islands and hypothetical coastline of the southern continent that is commonly found on maps of this period. Instead he has presented a fairly good view of the few known Pacific Island groups. The chart is adorned with rhumb lines, sailing ships, sea battles and a compass rose. The allegorical title cartouche features a portrait of Magellan, cherubs, and Neptune with a female consort riding a brace of sea-horses. This chart covers an area from the equator to 50°N.Lat. and south to 45°S. Lat.

References: McLaughlin #59; Tooley (Australia) #1371; Tooley (Amer) p. 122, #40.

Condition: B+

A dark, crisp impression with attractive color, light offsetting, and one small paper flaw above the title cartouche.

Estimate: $2,750 - $3,500

Sold for: $2,000

Closed on 5/4/2016