• Valuable Manuscripts and Print auction at Christies

    Sale 1550

    Valuable Manuscripts and Printed Books

    21 May 2014, London, King Street

  • Lot 121

    WIT, Frederick de (1630-1706) and Gerard VALCK (1652-1726). Orbis Terrarum Nova et Accurata Tabula, Amsterdam: Gerard Valck, [c. 1690-1700].

    Price Realised  


    WIT, Frederick de (1630-1706) and Gerard VALCK (1652-1726). Orbis Terrarum Nova et Accurata Tabula, Amsterdam: Gerard Valck, [c. 1690-1700].

    Engraved double-hemisphere map on four sheets, each with engraved area approx. 404 x 465mm on 470 x 600 sheets. With two smaller circular projections of the North and South Poles, blank cusps, California depicted as an island with a particularly flat northern coastline, decorative ships in oceans, the whole surrounded by an elaborate border depicting the four seasons. (Large tear to left-hand margin of north American sheet sometime repaired without loss, a few other tiny nicks to edges, occasional very minor spotting and soiling.)

    , being a variant of Frederick de Wit's terrestrial world map executed in about 1670-1680 (Shirley 451). This magnificent map must have been published between 1690 and 1700, as the imprint which appears on the pedestal of the garlanded bust in the south American sheet plainly gives the place as 'op d'Dam inde Wackeren hont.' Gerard Valck and his family moved into this house (where the Hondius family had previously lived) in about 1690. A terminus ante quem of approximately 1700 is provided by a variant of this map which includes the name of Leonardus, Gerard's son, and, although smaller, contains new details such as the supposed Mer Glaciale in northernmost America (Shirley 638). Both this later map, an earlier Valck world map (Shirley 531 & 532, giving incorrect date of c.1686), and the present work share the same decorated border of 'four lively scenes in baroque style. These represent joyous Spring, industrious Summer, bucolic Autumn, and icy Winter' (Shirley p.529). Shirley believes that Valck's world maps were based on Jaillot's influential Mappe-Monde of 1674, but in fact all three bear a much closer relationship to de Wit's map. The present map shares many of de Wit's cartographic elements, particularly in the polar projections; but there are also numerous differences, some partly explained by this Valck map being on a larger scale than the original de Wit map, allowing greater detail and decoration. For instance, the gap between the words 'America' and 'Meridio' in Brazil are now decoratively filled with a native village and a battle scene; in other areas, such as the outline of the coast of New Zealand, the toponyms are engraved quite differently. The north-eastern coastline of Asia in the present work also bears a closer resemblance to the 1666 world map of Jan van Loon (Shirley 439). A FINE COPY OF THIS POSSIBLY UNIQUE MAP.

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