Auction 129, Lot 802

"Africa Lybia Moerenlandt mit allen Konigreichen…", Munster, Sebastian

Subject: Africa

Period: 1578 (circa)

Publication: Cosmographia

Color: Hand Color

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. From the Portuguese comes Caput Bonespei (Cape of Good Hope) and a small group of islands off the eastern coast named Zaphala Aurifodina that were supposedly the region from which King Solomon imported gold and silver. 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. 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. The German title is above the map.

References: Betz #3; Norwich #2; Tooley (AF) #9.

Condition: B+

The impression is a bit uneven and there are a couple tiny worm holes on the upper centerfold and a couple binding holes in the blank margins.

Estimate: $1,200 - $1,500


Closed on 9/23/2009