Frederick de Wit and the First Concise Reference Atlas


This book is about the life and work of Frederick de Wit (1629-1706), one of the most famous dealers of maps, prints and art during the Dutch Golden Age, and his contribution to the dissemination of the knowledge of cartography. The Amsterdam firm of Frederick de Wit operated under the name “De Witte Pascaert” (The White Chart) from 1654 to 1710. It offered all kinds of printing and was one of the most successful publishers of maps and prints in the second half of the seventeenth century. The description of De Wit’s life and work is followed by an in-depth analysis and dating of the atlases and maps issued under his name.

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Biographical Note
After a career in yacht, boat and historic building restoration and a stint in the army, Dr. Carhart began his second career in academia with a BA in history from the University of Southern Maine. The history of cartography has been a central point of his interests. After receiving his BA in 1998 he joined the staff at the Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education, working there as the assistant curator. After leaving the Osher Map Library in 2006 to complete his doctoral work he has continued to research, publish and teach in the field of cartographic history. Since receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Passau in 2011, he has worked on projects at several universities including Dresden University of Technology and Trinity College Dublin.
Review Quotes
'The introductory chapters are followed by the exhaustive carto-bibliography of the maps and atlases, which is the principal part of the work. Carhart deserves all praise for this achievement: the bibliography is accurate, complete and compiled with great determination. The hundreds of colour pictures are sharp and many details are highlighted. Beautiful examples of the seventeenth-century Dutch art of engraving and typography can be admired!' Marco van Egmond (Utrecht University Library), in: Imago Mundi 69:2 2017, p. 258-259.
Table of contents
Acknowledgments Introduction 1. Frederick de Wit’s biography and his business 1.1 How many ‘Frederick de Wits’ 1.2 Johann Gottfried Gregorii (1685-1770) 1.3 Bagrow, Koeman, Van Eeghen and Werner 1.4 A new understanding of De Wit Tracing Frederick de Wit’s origins Father and Mother Why has De Wit been considered to be Catholic? Hendrick Fredericksz. de Wit’s social standing in Gouda Education 1.5 De Wit moves to Amsterdam Why Frederick Hendricksz changed his name to Frederick de Wit De Wit’s early work De Drie Crabben 1653-1655 De Witte Pascaert 1655-1710 The St. Lucas guild and De Wit’s membership De Wit’s real estate ventures De Wit’s marriage and children De Wit’s social standing in Amsterdam 1.6 De Wit and the art and print trade Engraver? Printer? Author? Publisher? De Wit’s interaction with the engravers and printers in Amsterdam De Wit’s business contacts outside the Netherlands De Wit’s interest in current events or topics as shown by his topical prints and maps De Wit’s trade in cartographic material and art prints from other publishers 1.7 De Wit’s death and Maria’s stewardship of the firm 1706-1710 1.8 1710 the firm is auctioned off 1.9 Conclusion 2. The first modern world atlas 2.1 Defining an atlas The simple Concise Reference Atlas and complex Encyclopaedic Reference Atlas The ‘Collector’s Composite Atlas’ and the ‘Map Sellers Composite Atlas’ 2.2 Origins of the atlas The early atlas The Netherlands and the first modern Encyclopaedic Atlas The production of a modern encyclopaedic atlas outside the Netherlands 2.3 Longevity of the first modern atlases Gerard and Rumoldus Mercator Cornelis Claesz., Jodocus and Henricus Hondius and Johannes Janssonius. Competition from Willem Jansz. Blaeu 2.4 The Decline? or Success? of the Dutch hegemony of the map and atlas publishing market in the seventeenth and eighteenth century Europe French control of the European commercial map and atlas market in the last half of the seventeenth century? English and German expansion into the commercial map and atlas market of the seventeenth and eighteenth century? 2.5 Pocket atlases 2.6 Conclusion 3. Frederick de Wit’s new Concise Reference Atlas 3.1 A need for an inexpensive and small folio atlas 3.2 De Wit’s first atlases 3.3 Publisher’s or composite atlas 3.4 Who was first? Other contemporary atlas authors and publishers Nicolaes Visscher Danckerts Janssonius Heirs Nicolas Sanson 3.5 Conclusion 4. Today’s bibliographic methods collide with printing and publishing methods of the early modern world 1577-1800 4.1 Identifying and dating antiquarian maps Modern Cartobibliographies Understanding the limitations of the older cartobibliographies 4.2 Shop versus library binding and modern printing and binding practices Atlas compilation and content The time aspects of map compilation and intaglio or copper plate engraving Time management of intaglio printing Time to print the maps and text for one atlas Shop binding ‘Sold separately’ 4.3 Commercial interaction between the map makers of the seventeenth century Map acquisition Reprinting of old plates and edits made to them The significance of having receiving a privilege to print maps 4.4 Conclusion 5. Dating de Wit’s maps and atlases 5.1 Methodology 5.2 Problems with the old cartobibliographies of De Wit’s maps 5.3 New dates for De Wit’s maps and atlases De Wit’s 1654 sea atlas De Wit’s first World atlas De Wit’s Seventeen Provinces atlas De Wit’s new maps De Wit expands his small atlas Janssonius and Blaeu maps as tools for dating De Wit’s atlases 1660 to 1686 and 1686 to 1721 New dates for De Wit’s atlases Atlas dating through the printed map indexes 5.4 Deluxe maps on silk 5.5 Identifying loose sheet maps by the Janssonius and Blaeu firms that were bound in De Wit’s atlases 5.6 De Wit’s wall maps De Wit’s elusive world and continental maps When did De Wit first publish his continental wall maps: 1662 or 1672? 5.7 Special order topographic maps and plans produced by De Wit 5.8 De Wit’s city plans and views 5.9 Conclusion 6. De Wit’s legacy 6.1 Longevity of the De Wit name De Wit’s charts, an exception to the rule 6.2 The use and abuse of his name Copying in the Netherlands of De Wit’s work Copying outside the Netherlands 6.3 The importance of De Wit’s cartographic works to the late seventeenth and eighteenth century scholarly world 6.4 Who owned De Wit’s atlases 6.5 Conclusion 7. The cartographic origins of De Wit’s maps 7.1 Map compilation in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries 7.2 De Wit, cartographer or copyist 7.3 Source maps of a number of De Wit’s maps 7.4 Conclusion 8. Final Conclusion The Atlases Overview of the atlases published by De Wit Cartobibliography Cartobibliography of maps in De Wit’s atlases Cataloguing code for maps in De Wit’s atlases 1. De Wit’s atlas maps 2. Plates purchased and edited by De Wit 3. Janssonius maps that De Wit used in his atlases 4. Blaeu maps that De Wit used in his atlases 5. Visscher maps that De Wit used in his atlases 6. Maps from other firms that De Wit used in his atlases 7. De Wit’s Charts List of consulted Libraries Acknowledgement of the illustrations Samenvatting in het Nederlands Bibliography Index
All interested in the life and work of Frederick de Wit and cartography.
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