"Africa Nova Tabula", Picart, Nicolas
Period: 1659 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
21.6 x 16 inches
54.9 x 40.6 cm
Picart's map of Africa is an exact copy of Jodocus Hondius Jr.'s 1623 map of Africa, in its fourth state of 1632. The cartes-a-figures borders appear on three sides, with six city views along the top and ten examples of local inhabitants along the sides. The geography is largely speculative and follows Blaeu's map of 1617 with the Cuama River originating in the mountains rather than in the Sachaf Lake below the Mountains of the Moon (Lunae Montes). The origin of the Nile conforms to the Ptolemaic tradition of the two twin lakes south of the equator. The Kingdom of Monomotapa occupies a large area of southern Africa. Ornamentation includes a wreath-style title cartouche, sailing ships, flying fish, and various sea monsters. Elephants, lions, zebras, ostriches, and even a dragon occupy the interior. Picart's imprint appears on a second cartouche at bottom, again taken from the Hondius map of 1623, and similar to the cartouche on Van den Keere's map of Africa from 1614, featuring a clock with a skull. Picart's map was separately issued and is considered quite rare. This is the second state, with Picart's imprint erased from lower cartouche and "Fol. 611" added at top left.
References: Betz #73.2.
A good impression with some printer's ink residue and a tear that enters 10" into map at right that has been expertly and almost invisibly repaired. Remnants of paper tape on verso confined to blank margins.