Nova Totius Terrarum Orbis Tabula by Frederik De Wit (1670 circa), original engraving hand watercolored.
This huge planisphere is the work of a great and famous publisher of altlants of the seventeenth century, the Dutch Frederik De Wit, who reached the peak of his work in the production of large murals, including this “nova totius terrarum orbis tabula” of 1670 is one of the most significant examples. Originally made with the copper engraving technique, it consists of several sheets mounted on a “detachment canvas”, to facilitate transport. In the four corners of the card are drawn types of distant peoples, animals and plants. a table of distances is shown between New Zealand and the Strait of Magellan. There is also a sphere with the movement of the planets according to the Hypothesis Ptolemaica. An original of this large map can be found in the map library of the Military Geographical Institute of Florence. The reproduction we propose is made according to the techniques common to all our maps, and which you can find better described here.
Made with the copper engraving technique, it consists of several sheets mounted on “detachable canvas” in order to improve conservation, facilitate readability and facilitate transport. There were various difficulties that the engravers of past centuries encountered in preparing the matrices with the engraving method. The execution times were very long and the work performed was not susceptible to corrections. Furthermore, the number of copies that could be made was limited, since the plates of wood and copper later, subjected to repeated crushing of the press, tended to deteriorate rapidly.
The support onto which the image is transferred is made from 100% pure cotton paper found at an ancient paper mill, which was already in operation when this work first saw the light. In order to recreate that charm that the works of the past know how to instill, the sheets manually and individually undergo an aging process based on strictly vegetable substances. This is followed by the anchoring of the paper on canvas, also in pure raw cotton, which undergoes, like the paper support, a skilful work of aging. The watercolor coloring gives the subject a polychrome vision of undoubted scenic effect. All this in order to create a product that, both for the materials used and for the technique used, recovers the beauty and historical-cultural value of the original.