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Description found in Archives

Nova totius terrarum orbis geographica ac hydrographica tabula [cartographic material] 



Place of creation




1 map : hand col. ; 29 x 42 cm on sheet 58 x 68 cm.
Cartographic material
90: Open
Original can be viewed in the presence o
f an early cartographic archivist. Microfiche version is open
Cartographic material
Microfiche NMC8234
90: Open
Item no. (creator)
Alexander E. MacDonald Canadiana Collection #50
Cartographic material
90: Open
90: Open
Archival reference no.
Other accession no.
80101/245 CA
Local class no.

Terms of use

Copyright: Expired
Credit: Library and Archives Canada.

Biography / Administrative history

Map publisher and bookseller of London, Freeman of the Haberdashers' Company. At the White Hart in Little Britian (1667-1673) ; Angel in St. Pauls Churchyard: against the Great North-Dore of St.Paul's Church (1673-1686) ; Duke Street, Westminister (1686). Pitt planned a 12 volume world atlas in assocaition with Johann van Wasbergen of which only 4 volumes were issued. He was imprisioned for debt in Fleet Street prison 1689-1691.

Additional information

Pictorial relief.

Includes following dedication in a decorative cartouche: To the Right Reverend Father in God, John by divine permission Ld. Bishop of Oxon. this mapp is humbly dedicated Johannes Jansonius à waesberge and sons, Moses Pitt, and Steven Swart.

Includes ill. and 2 insets (North Pole area - South Pole area ) located in the lower left and right corner.

From Moses Pitt: English Atlas, (Oxford, 1680), v. 1, map no.2.

Includes a decorative border. Along the top are allegorical representations of the sun and moon and the five known planets: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. On the left side are four panels illustrating the elements; Fire, Air, Water and Earth. On the right side the four seasons (Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Fall). Along the bottom are seven vignettes showing the seven wonders of the world: the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Colossus over the harbour at Rhodes, the Pyramids, the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus at Cario, the temple of Diana at Ephesus, the Statue of Jupiter, and the great Pharos or lighthouse of Alexandria.

This beautiful map is one of the most intriguing examples of the internal workings of the map publishing business in the seventeenth century. The copperplate from which the map was printed was originally engraved by Pieter van den Keere (Petrus Kaerius) in 1608. It then passed into the hands of Jan Jansson in 1620, and finally to Jansson's heirs who formed a partnership with the Englishman, Moses Pitt. The plate was reworked several times and a comparison of the various states provide a compelling view of the changing image of the world during the 17th century. In this final state, the classic carte-a-figures borders remain unchanged, while the map itself was updated with actual discoveries such as Australia, Tierra del Fuego and the straits of Magellan and Le Maire. Other changes reflect prevailing, but erroneous, theories such as an insular California, a peculiar isthmus linking Nova Zembla to northern Asia, and a revived huge Antarctic landmass. The map is very scarce because Pitt's ambitious atlas project was a commercial failure; resulting in his confinement in debtor's prison.

Physical condition note
Torn along center fold line. Scotch tape applied on verso.

Custodial history
Part of the Alexander E. MacDonald Canadiana Collection purchased by the Public Archives of Canada in 1981.

Related materials
For other copies and or editions see: G1950 .P57 1680 .H3 1943 - fol. (AMICUS No. 17076317)

Citation / reference note
Shirley, Entry 504
Shirley, Entry 264
Wagner, v. 2, p. 317, Entry 415
Phillips, Entry 2831, v. 1, map no 2

Availability of other formats note
The microfiche version is NMC8234

Exhibitions note
This map was part of an exhibition held at The Royal Ontario Museum, March 1954 entitled "The Discovery & Mapping of the Great Lakes 'Sweet Water' 1522-1703 showcasing MacDonald's Collection.

Subject heading

World - Maps - Early works to 1800.


Other system control no.