1688 De Wit Map of the Balkans (Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Bulgaria)
Regni Hungariae et regionum, quae ei quondam fuere unitae, ut Transilvaniae, Valachiae, Moldaviae, Serviae, Romaniae, Bulgariae, Bessarabiae, Croatiae, Bosniae, Dalmatiae, Sclavoniae, Morlachiae, Ragusanae Reipublicae, maximaeq[ue] partis Danubii Fluminis, novissima delineatio.
20 x 35 in (50.8 x 88.9 cm)
1 : 2060000
A sprawling 1688 decorative map of the Balkans by Fredrik de Wit. The map depicts from the Adriatic to the Black Sea and from Poland to Macedonia, focusing on the multiethnic, multilingual, and multinational Hungarian empire. It includes the modern day nations of Hungary, Romania, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Serbia, Moldova, Bulgaria, Kosovo, and parts of Montenegro, Macedonia, Ukraine, and Turkey. Hungary at this time stood divided between Austrian Hapsburg influence from the west and Ottoman influence from the east. In 1683, the Ottoman Empire led a force through this region on a disastrous attack on the Austrian Empire. Beaten back, Ottoman hegemony in the region temporarily waned as Austria managed to conquer what was left of the Hungarian Empire along with the Principality of Transylvania. A highly decorative title cartouche appears in the lower left corner.
This map was produced by Frederik de Wit and appeared in many composite atlases of the late 17th century.
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.
Good. Wear along original fold lines. Verso repairs of fold separations. Closed tear extending one half inch into printed area professionally repaired on verso. Blank on verso.