Catalog Archive
Auction 198, Lot 52

Classic Map of the Americas with the Island of California in Full Contemporary Color

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

Subject: Western Hemisphere - America

Period: 1689 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

22.8 x 19.3 inches
57.9 x 49 cm
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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. In the top left corner, one cartouche depicts angels struggling with a devil for the soul of a Native American. At bottom left, 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 sixth state, which includes a large Quiri Regio coastline below the Salomon Islands in the South Pacific; a stretch of coast labeled Terra Esonis to the northwest of California; Nova Albion north of Drakes Bay; and Aovenliouach ronons between Lake Superior and Lac des Puans.

References: Burden #465; Carhart (De Wit) #6.6; McLaughlin #49; Tooley p. 120 #30; Wheat (TMW) #52.

Condition: B

Full contemporary color on a sheet with some extraneous creasing, light soiling, and moderate toning along the edges. There is a chip at bottom that has been archivally repaired, with a minor portion of the cartouche vignette missing and a 1" stretch of border replaced in facsimile. The edges and centerfold have been reinforced with old paper, repairing short tears.

Estimate: $1,100 - $1,400

Sold for: $850

Closed on 6/19/2024