"Africa XXV Nova Tabula", Munster, Sebastian
Period: 1540-45 (published)
Publication: Geographia Universalis
Color: Black & White
13.5 x 10 inches
34.3 x 25.4 cm
This is one of the first modern maps of the whole continent. The Ptolemaic geography, with large rivers and convoluted mountains, is augmented from Portuguese and Arabic sources. The Arab kingdoms of Quiola and Melinde appear in eastern Africa and Hamarich, the capital of the mythical Christian king Prester John, is shown at the confluence of the twin sources of the Nile. The island of Madagascar is strangely absent, even though its presence was known from the time of Marco Polo. In its stead, from the Portuguese, comes the small island of Zaphala aurifodina, the legendary isle from which King Solomon obtained silver and gold. Also from the Portuguese comes Caput Bonespei (Cape of Good Hope.) The map is illustrated with crowns and scepters, forests, parrots, an elephant, a Cyclops (Monoculi) and a large galleon under full sail. The strapwork cartouche contains a text description of the continent. Latin text on verso.
References: Betz #3; Tooley (AF) #9; Norwich #2.
Minor soiling in margins.