Auction 123, Lot 772

"Abissinorum sive Pretiosi Ioannis Imperiu", Mercator/Hondius

Subject: Africa - Central

Period: 1620 (circa)

Publication: Atlas Sive Cosmographicae

Color: Hand Color

19.5 x 13.5 inches
49.5 x 34.3 cm

Impressive map of central Africa showing the legendary kingdom of the Christian Prester John. It is cartographically similar to Ortelius' map, 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 Ptolemaic twin lakes of Zaire and Zaflan, at the foot of the Mountains of the Moon (Lunae Montes). Graced with a strapwork title and scale of miles cartouches and a bold moiré patterned sea. French text on verso.


Condition: B+

A very strong impression on a sheet with some repaired worm holes at the top of the centerfold near the Nubia. Fl.

Estimate: $650 - $750

Sold for: $475

Closed on 2/20/2008