SCARCE WORLD MAP BY MOSES PITT

 

$19,000

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AUTHOR:

PITT, MOSES

TITLE:

Nova Totius Terrarum Orbis Geographica ac Hydrographica Tabula. From Pitt’s The English Atlas

CONDITION:

Map with original hand color, decorative borders uncolored, as issued. 15-3/4” x 18-3/4”. Wide margins. Excellent condition.

DATE:

Oxford, 1680

DESCRIPTION:

Moses Pitt was a noted publisher of scientific books who had close ties to the Royal Society. In 1678 he proposed a twelve-volume world atlas, in collaboration with his fellow society member Robert Hooke, the English scientist. The disappearance from the English market of the now-rare works of Blaeu and Jansson had left a vacuum that the Pitt was intended to fill. Printed on high quality, over-sized map sheets and hand colored with care, four volumes of the atlas were printed, along with the text volume only for the fifth volume.

Nova Totius Terrararum is one of two world maps published in the atlas. As with most of the maps, it was printed from an earlier Dutch plate, in this case engraved by Pieter van den Keere in 1608. The plate underwent extensive alterations in Pitt’s hands. Three cartouches were removed, with that in the upper left corner replaced by a dedication to the Bishop of Oxford. The two polar hemispheres in the lower corners were re-engraved, the northwest coast of America was redrawn, an oversized Virginia was added in western North America, and California became an island. The map is surrounded by panels containing the seven wonders of the ancient world, plus allegorical representations of the planets, the elements and the seasons.

REFERENCES:

Shirley, The Mapping of the World, 504; Rostenberg, “Moses Pitt, Robert Hooke and the English Atlas,” The Map Collector, 12, Sept. 1980. For Van den Keere, see Shirley, 264; Schilder, Monumenta Cartographica Neerlandica, VI, pps. 90-92.

Inventory No. 8640

Cohen & Taliaferro

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