Old color example of the De Wit edition of Hondius' map of the North Polar Regions.
With the advances in the knowledge of the Arctic, Mercator's map of 1595 had become obsolete by the 1630s. For the 1636 English edition of the Mercator Hondius Atlas, Hondius engraved a new polar map. The first two editions issued in 1636 contained no decorative vignettes on the sides. The German edition issued in 1636 was the first decorative edition.
Hondius drew on the Cartography of Henry Briggs for his model of Hudson's Bay, supplemented buy Thomas James map of 1633. The usual confusion appears around Frobisher's Strait. The prospect of a NW Passage is left open, as is the entire Northwestern portion of North America. Dutch nomenclature appears along the coast of Labrador.
De Wit (1629 ca.-1706) was a mapmaker and mapseller who was born in Gouda but who worked and died in Amsterdam. He moved to the city in 1648, where he opened a printing operation under the name of The Three Crabs; later, he changed the name of his shop to The White Chart. From the 1660s onward, he published atlases with a variety of maps; he is best known for these atlases and his Dutch town maps. After Frederik’s death in 1706, his wife Maria ran the shop for four years before selling it. Their son, Franciscus, was a stockfish merchant and had no interest in the map shop. At the auction to liquidate the de Wit stock, most of the plates went to Pieter Mortier, whose firm eventually became Covens & Mortier, one of the biggest cartography houses of the eighteenth century.