A Magnificent Sea Chart of the West Indies
"Indiarum Occidentalium Tractus Littorales cum Insulis Caribicis / Pascaert van Westindien ende Caribise Eylanden", Renard/De Wit
Subject: Gulf of Mexico & Caribbean
Period: 1715 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
22.3 x 19.2 inches
56.6 x 48.8 cm
This is Renard's edition of Frederik de Wit's map, one of the most beautifully engraved charts of the West Indies. It extends to show the coastline of North America nearly to New England, all of Central America, and the northern coastline of South America. There is a wealth of navigational information including passages, anchorages, sandbanks, and shoals. Numerous place names line the coasts, including Charleston, St. Augustine, Cape Canaveral, Roanoke Island, Santo Domingo, and Havana. The curvature of the Gulf Coast is close to accurate, but the chart predates the Iberville and La Salle's explorations of the Mississippi Delta and Mobile Bay. The chart is a masterpiece of decorative engraving with illustrations of sailing vessels, a compass rose, and two elaborate title cartouches (Latin and Dutch), one showing cannibalism and the other depicting European pirates observing natives. This is the third state with Renard's imprint and several additional place names, including Louisiane, Caroline, Mariland, and Pensylvanie.
See also lot 815 for Burden's indispensable reference work on maps of North America, which discusses this map.
References: Burden #468.
A crisp impression in full original color on a clean, bright sheet with a couple of unobtrusive spots, a tiny hole by Cuba, an extraneous crease adjacent to the centerfold, and some marginal stains.