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Occidentalior Tractus Indiarum Orientalium

Date: 1675
Overall: 440 x 530 mm
Medium: Laid paper, printing ink, watercolour paints.
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Maps, charts and plans
Object Name: Map
Object No: 00051288
Place Manufactured:Amsterdam
Related Place:Madagasikara, Indian Ocean, Africa,

User Terms

    Beautifully detailed and decorated, this fine chart of the Indian Ocean and East Coast of Africa from the Cape of Good Hope to Cape Cormorin shows details of the adjacent coasts, islands and hazards encountered by ships trading between Europe and Asia.
    SignificanceThis chart is significant both as a reflection of European knowledge of the Indian Ocean and the adjacent coasts in the 17th century, and as a fine example of a sea chart produced by the important Dutch map-maker Frederick de Wit.
    HistoryThe route from Europe to the Indian Ocean via the Cape of Good Hope was pioneered by Portuguese explorers at the end of the 15th century. The route opened the highly lucrative spice trade to new European powers, ultimately leading to the establishment of several national East-India companies. This is one of four charts of the coast of Africa that first appeared in Frederick de Wit's Zee Atlas of 1675.

    Frederick De Wit (1630 - 1706)
    After the decline of the Blaeu and Jansson publishing houses Frederick de Wit gained a reputation for the quality of his mapmaking. He managed to aquire a large number of copper plates at auction and with these he was able to cover almost every type of cartography: nautical charts, world atlases, books of town plans and panoramas and large scale wall maps.

    Common to all his work was superb engraving and exceptional colouring resulting in maps of particular beauty and historic interest. His work was hugely popular and continued to be so after his death when many further editions were published.

    Additional Titles

    Primary title: Occidentalior Tractus Indiarum Orientalium

    Assigned title: Chart of the Indian Ocean and East Coast of Africa

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