Extremely Rare Bermuda & Caribbean Map ca. 1693 by Johannes Loots (1665-1726)

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Extremely Rare Bermuda & Caribbean Map ca. 1693 by Johannes Loots (1665-1726)


Measurements: 22.6 x 35.1 in. (57.5 x 89.1 cm.)

Date: after 1693

Condition: Very good impression. Printed in original colors on two joined sheets of double-thick paper.

Description: Extremely rare and large sea chart of the Southeastern seaboard of the U.S., including Virginia, Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, the West Indies, and a large inset of the Bermudas. Also includes decorative title cartouche, two additional cartouches, and a dedication to Dutch statesman and mayor of Amsterdam Nicolaas Witsen, with a fully hand-colored rendering of Witsen’s coat-of-arms inlaid above the dedication. Detailing includes place names along the northern coast of Cuba (rare for charts of this period), as well as place names along the Floridian peninsula, the bay of Tampa, and the coast of the Gulf of Mexico (present-day Texas). Decorative features include three mythologically inspired engravings. Only two other examples of this map are known to exist, both in black and white: one in the Sachsische Landesbibliothek in Dresden, Germany, and the other in the P.A. Leupe Collection in the Dutch National Archives.

Map taken from: 

Cartographer: Johannes Loots (1665-1726)

Johannes Loots (1665-1726) was a prominent Dutch publisher of sea charts active from 1693 until his death in 1726. Born in Amsterdam, Loots began his career as a maker of mathematical and nautical instruments, serving an apprenticeship with famed cartographer/publisher Hendrik Doncker, whose charts were prized for their originality, accuracy, and constant revisions in an era when many charts were simply copied from other publishers. In 1693 Loots was accepted into Amsterdam’s prestigious Booksellers’ Guild, and shortly thereafter began selling charts and altases. In the early 1700s Loots sold over 100 charts based on the Mercator Projection system to Gerard van Keulen of the famous van Keulan cartographic dynasty. That same year Loots also acquired and subsequently published a rare set of charts of the North American and Caribbean coastlines — featuring engravings by eminent Dutch cartographer Arent Ruggeveen — that were deemed a significant improvement over other contemporary sea charts. Despite the presence of many well-known chart-makers in Amsterdam during this very competitive period, Loots’ business was known to have flourished, and the final inventory of his shop numbered over 460 copperplates, though today his charts are on the whole exceedingly rare. 

Contemporary academic references cited related to this map:

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