Totius Americae Descriptio
43.3 x 54.2 cms
Nicolas Visser's famous map of the Americas, with California as an island.
"California with nearly flat northern coast, much like the Briggs type. Straet Anian and Anian too far north. Partial coastline of Zelandia Nova too far southwest.
Dedicated to D. Cornelio Witsen, whose arms are shown on a shield supported by angels (upper left).
Title is on a stone block with two snakes above and figures of natives on either side. A chief is under an umbrella to right of title (lower left).
Map was copied many times.
Issued in: Novus Atlas absolutissimus, Vol. VI / J. Jansson, 1658 (actual date is in question)."
"A map of importance ... it became the standard representation of North
America for a number of years, [that was] copied by other Dutch and English publishers."
"The same map, and probably plate, was used by de Wit and others"
"It was the first of a most popular series of maps of the Americas of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. [...]
With dubious guile, the publishers of succeeding issues of the map would rearrange the figures in the cartouches as well as the cartouches themselves,
presumably to avert accusations of plagiarism. The map shows one of the Great Lakes as a large, square-shaped lake open at its western end. The island of California is delineated in the less common Briggs shape marked by the flattened northern coast."