WIT, Frederick de (1629/30 - 1706). Composite Atlas. Amsterdam: F. de Wit, [n.d. but circa 1680].
2° (514 x 312 mm). 100 double-page engraved maps (69 by de Wit and 31 others) ALL FINELY COLORED BY A CONTEMPORARY HAND, allegorical frontispiece depicting Atlas supporting the heavens, printed index on verso. (A few maps with small repairs on, minor mostly marginal worming to some plates.) 18th-century calf gilt (spine ends and corners repaired).
A RARE AND EARLY DE WIT ATLAS WITH VERY FINE CONTEMPORARY HAND-COLORING THROUGHOUT. All 69 of the de Wit maps in the rare first state, without the privilegium added after 1689. Only two of the maps are dated, ranging from 1660-1671. The world map (Shirley 451, ca, 1670, second state with cherubs placed in the cusps and a border added), showing California as an island with no Pacific Northwest or Alaska, the Great Lakes incomplete, and only parts of Australia, is surrounded by a magnificent engraved allegory of the four seasons and the signs of the zodiac, "one of the most attractive maps of its time" (Shirley). The map of the Americas (Burden II: 465, state 3) is ca. 1678. This copy contains the four maps of the continents. Frederick de Wit was one of the foremost mapmakers in Amsterdam in the late 17th century, taking over as the power and control of the Blaeu family declined. The work of other contemporary cartographers was kept in stock by de Wit and when clients requested maps of areas that he did not publish these were bound-in to order. This atlas contains 31 maps by other cartographers, including: Allard, Blaeu, Sanson, Laurenberg, Visscher, Janson and others. Of a total of twenty-one editions of the de Wit atlas to 1708, Koeman distinguishes only eight that were printed before the Privilegium was added in 1689, each highly variant. This atlas corresponds closely with Koeman's Wit 8 and 9. Bagrow-Skelton, p. 183; Burden 465; See Koeman III, 8 and 9 and pp. 192-199.