1721 (undated) 17.5 x 22 in (44.45 x 55.88 cm)
This is a beautiful 1721 map of the Northern Dvina River in northern Russia by Frederik De Wit. The map is divided into three sections to follow the course of the river from its source in the Vologod Province as it empties into Dvina Bay of the White Sea near Archangle (Arkhangelsk). Along the way, the map notes several smaller tributaries and towns.
The Northern Dvina River was an important waterway used for fur trading. The Dutch first arrived in the North Sea near Arkhangelsk in the late 16th century. The river was later used by the Muscovy Company as the main trading route connecting Central Russia with Arkhangelsk. The Muscovy Company would monopolize the English-Russian trade until 1698, after which the Dutch returned as dominant merchants in the region. Through all this, the Northern Dvina River remained an important trading route until the construction of the railway between Vologda and Arkhangelsk in the late 19th century. The Dvina River is today used mainly to transport timber.
A beautiful title cartouche is included in the top left quadrant with another cartouche illustrated with a reindeer’s head is included in the bottom right quadrant. An illustration of a group of reindeers is also included in the top section. The map was issued by Covens and Mortier and printed shortly following their 1721 acquisition of De Wit's plates from Maria De Wit.
Frederik de Wit (1629 - 1706) was a Dutch Golden Age cartographer active in the second half of the 17th and the early 18th centuries. De Wit was born of middle class Protestant stock in the western Netherlandish town of Gouda. He relocated to Amsterdam sometime before 1648, where he worked under Willem Blaeu. His first attributed engraved map, a plan of Haarlem for Antonius Sanderus' Flandria Illustrata, was issued around this time. He struck out on his own in 1654. The first chart that De Wit personally both drew and engraved was most likely his 1659 map of Denmark, REGNI DANIÆ Accuratissima delineatio Perfeckte Kaerte van ‘t CONJNCKRYCK DENEMARCKEN. His great wall map of the world and most famous work, Nova Totius Terrarum Orbis Tabula appeared one year later. Following the publication of his wall map De Wit quickly rose in prominence as a both cartographer and engraver. He married Maria van der Way in 1661 and through her became a citizen of Amsterdam in 1662. Around this time he also published his first major atlas, a composite production ranging in size from 17 to over 150 maps and charts. Other atlases and individual maps followed. In 1689 De Wit was granted at 15 year Privilege by the Dutch States General. The Privilege was a kind of early copyright that protected his exclusive rights to print and publish his maps. He was recognized with the honorific 'Good Citizen' in 1694. De Wit died in 1706 after which his wife Maria continued publishing his maps until about 1710. Though De Wit did have a son, Franciscus, he had no interest in the map trade, being a prosperous stockfish merchant. Instead, on her own retirement, Maria sold most De Wit maps and plates at a public auction. Most were acquired by Pieter Mortier and laid the groundwork for the 1721 rise of Covens and Mortier, the largest Dutch cartographic publishing house of the 18th century.
Covens and Mortier (1721 - c. 1862). The Amsterdam publishing firm of Covens and Mortier was the successor to the extensive publishing empire built by Frenchman Pierre Mortier (1661 - 1711). Upon Mortier's death in 1711 his firm was taken over by his son, Cornelius Mortier (1699 - 1783). Cornelius married the sister of Johannes Covens (1697 - 1774) in 1821 and, partnering with his brother in law, established the Covens and Mortier firm. Under the Covens and Mortier imprint, Cornelius and Pierre republished the works of the great 17th and early 18th century Dutch and French cartographers De L'Isle, Allard, Jansson, De Wit, and Ottens among others. They quickly became one of the largest and most prolific Dutch publishing concerns of the 18th century. The firm and its successors published thousands of maps over a 120 year period from 1721 to the mid-1800s. During their long lifespan the Covens and Mortier firm published as Covens and Mortier (1721-1778), J. Covens and Son (1778 - 94) and Mortier, Covens and Son (1794 - c. 1862).
Very good. Minor wear along original centerfold. Some cracks near margins and borders. Professionally flattened and backed with archival tissue.