Extremely rare Frederick De Wit edition of Arnold Colom's map of the World, first published by Colom circa 1655.
Colom's double hemisphere world map was first issued in about 1654 (Koeman) or 1655 (British Library). The map appeared in Arnold Colom's Zee-Atlas, a sea atlas of the world issued in the mid-17th Century. As noted by Shirley:
There are two hemispheres which are surrounded by six robust statuesque figures typically representing night and day and the four elements; each except for Mother Earth, proudly unclothed.
The map is very rare and rarely appears in good condition. When De Wit acquired the plate, he reworked the map by replacing the original title above the map ( Nova Delineata Totius Orbis Terrarum Auctore A. Colom) with a new title, which is engraved below the top neatline. The lower right cartouch now includes De Wit's name.
De Wit also makes a number of cartographic changes. Australia is significantly revised and updated, showing the significant cartographic advances in its depiction over the prior decade.
On the West Coast of America, California is completely re-engraved and a curiously vertical Northwest coast of America is shown, with the straits of Anian relocated to the same latitude as Button's Bay. The curious Northwest Coastline of America, which traversed the Pacific to the West toward Asia is completely removed.
Virtually all evidence of Terra Australis Incognita has been removed (a bit remains above the right lower cartouche), but De Wit leaves the name in both hemispheres, despite not illustrating the southern landmass.
In Asia, De Wit completely revises the coastline of northwestern Asia. Japan is significantly enlarged and revised and the coastline of Korea is completely reworked to form a more contemporarly peninsular shape. Similarly the coast of China is modernized, as is the Malaysian Peninsula and Straits of Malacca.
Both the De Wit and Colom editions of this map are extremely rare. This is the first example of De Wit's edition of the map to appear on the market in a number of decades.
De Wit (1629 ca.-1706) was a mapmaker and mapseller who was born in Gouda but who worked and died in Amsterdam. He moved to the city in 1648, where he opened a printing operation under the name of The Three Crabs; later, he changed the name of his shop to The White Chart. From the 1660s onward, he published atlases with a variety of maps; he is best known for these atlases and his Dutch town maps. After Frederik’s death in 1706, his wife Maria ran the shop for four years before selling it. Their son, Franciscus, was a stockfish merchant and had no interest in the map shop. At the auction to liquidate the de Wit stock, most of the plates went to Pieter Mortier, whose firm eventually became Covens & Mortier, one of the biggest cartography houses of the eighteenth century.