"Aethiopia Inferior, vel Exterior", Blaeu, Willem
Subject: Southern Africa
Period: 1635 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
19.5 x 15 inches
49.5 x 38.1 cm
This handsome map formed the standard for the depiction of South Africa throughout the 17th century, covering the region from Congo-Zanzibar to the Cape. Blaeu based the map on Portuguese exploration and most detail is confined to the coastlines. There are two large lakes in the interior, one unnamed and the other called Zachef, which is the lake out of which the Zambere (Zambesi River) flows, probably based on reports of Lake Ngami, which was not conclusively discovered until the mid-19th century. The interior shows the mythical Mountains of the Moon or Lunae Montes. Indigenous animals including elephants and monkeys are illustrated, while large galleons sail the sea. The dramatic title cartouche is drawn on an ox hide held up by natives, with monkeys and turtles at their feet. French text on verso.
References: Norwich #154.
Lightly soiled with a centerfold separation that has been expertly repaired, and a small hole in left blank margin far from map image.