"Abissinorum sive Pretiosi Ioannis Imperiu", Mercator/Hondius
Subject: Central Africa
Period: 1619 (circa)
Publication: Atlas Sive Cosmographicae
Color: Hand Color
19 x 13 inches
48.3 x 33 cm
Impressive map of central Africa showing the legendary kingdom of the Christian Prester John. Cartographically similar to Ortelius' map, that was based on the travels of the Portuguese explorer, Francisco Alveres, who searched for the mythical kingdom in 1520. The kingdom itself is shown atop the Amara Mons in the region that Alveres encountered the Coptic Christian ruler David II. The large inset of the Congo region, also based on Ortelius, illustrates the travels of another Portuguese explorer, Duarte Lopez. The Nile is shown with its source in the twin lakes of Zaire and Zaflan. Strapwork title and scale of miles cartouches and a bold moiré patterned sea. French text on verso.
References: Van der Krogt (Atlantes) #8720:1A
Crisp, dark impression and fine coloring with wide margins. Three pair of small wormholes: one in lower margin, one at top of map and the last at sides in border and cartouche. These holes are barely visible in the map unless held to light.