Catalog Archive
Auction 109, Lot 664

"Africae Nova Descriptio", Blaeu, Willem

Subject: Africa

Period: 1631-67 (published)

Publication: Atlas Novus

Color: Hand Color

21.7 x 16 inches
55.1 x 40.6 cm

This is one of the most decorative seventeenth century maps of the African continent and a superb example of the Dutch carte-a-figures style. The map is surrounded on three sides with vignettes of native peoples and nine principal cities. The Nile is shown according to Ptolemy with its sources arising in the lakes Zaire and Zaflan, the fictitious Lake Sachaf of Laurent Fries appears, as well as the R. de Spirito Santo. The map is further embellished with numerous ships, sea monsters (including a great seahorse), a compass rose and exotic animals wandering all over the continent.

References: Norwich #32.

Condition: A

Sharp impression and fine original color. Small worm track at lower centerfold, with old paper repair and loss of only a couple of place names. Otherwise, very fine.

Estimate: $4,750 - $5,500

Sold for: $4,750

Closed on 12/1/2004