FREDERICK DE WIT
Composite atlas. [c.1680-1686]
Folio (546 x 347mm.), engraved allegorical title showing the globe surmounted by the figure of Atlas with printed index listing 150 subjects on verso, 153 double-page engraved maps and charts in contemporary hand colour, the 3 unlisted maps added to index in contemporary manuscript (see footnote), contemporary Dutch calf, blind panelled and arabesque on sides, maps 7 and 78 (Portugal and Crete) supplied from another copy (re-margined to size), map 26 (Languedoc) smaller in size (possibly inserted), title stained, some occasional light staining at upper margins, last 2 maps waterstained, a few small tears at fold, some occasional light staining, binding repaired by James Brockman
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The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
Lord Wardington (1924-2005), bookplate at end, sale in these rooms, 10 October 2006, lot 540
cf. Shirley, British Library T.WIT-2a (later edition)
A FINE ATLAS FROM THE LIBRARY OF LORD WARDINGTON. In common with other relatively early de Wit atlases, this copy contains a corpus of maps formerly in the plate-stock of other Amsterdam map publishers such as Mercator, Hondius, Janssonius, Blaeu, and Visscher.
Many of the de Wit maps are early issues and the sea charts are in their first state and were published not later than 1680. Many bear small plate-numbers in the upper right-hand corner, some altered in ink. These engraved numbers slowly disappeared from the plates in later years. In this copy the two world maps are de Wit's state 2 (Shirley, Mapping of the World 451) and his maritime world map (Shirley 444).
"The de Wit composite or 'dual-purpose' atlas is an early example of an atlas planned at its outset to serve as a land and a sea atlas in one. Koeman lists these works according to the number of maps and by and large this progression gives a fair idea of their development and therefore dates, beginning in the early 1660s. But he acknowledges it is not accurate and often subject to revised opinion. The index is quite unlike any of those listed in Koeman" (Wardington Catalogue).