Auction 112, Lot 708

"Presbiteri Iohannis, sive Abissinorum Imperii Descriptio", Ortelius, Abraham

Subject: Central Africa

Period: 1598 (published)

Publication: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum

Color: Hand Color

17 x 14.7 inches
43.2 x 37.3 cm

This famous map depicts the central African kingdom of the mythical Christian king, Prester John, who according to legend provided a stronghold against Barbarians and was an ally to the Crusaders. Ortelius designed this map himself using geographical information including Gastaldi's 1564 map of Africa. It includes two pair of large elephants in the interior and sea monsters and an oared ship in the Atlantic with two large strapwork cartouches, one enclosing the title and the other with text of the legend. French text on verso.

References: Van den Broecke #175.

Condition: B

Later color. Toned on centerfold. Two small worm tracks in blank top margin, well away from map.

Estimate: $1,300 - $1,400

Sold for: $1,000

Closed on 9/28/2005