Catalog Archive
Auction 146, Lot 732

Blaeu's Carte-a-Figures Map of Africa

"Africae Nova Descriptio", Blaeu, Willem

Subject: Africa

Period: 1647 (circa)

Publication: Atlas Maior

Color: Hand Color

22 x 16.1 inches
55.9 x 40.9 cm
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This is one of the most decorative seventeenth century maps of the African continent and a superb example of the Dutch carte-a-figures style. The map is surrounded on three sides with vignettes of native peoples and nine principal cities. The Nile is shown according to Ptolemy with its sources arising in the lakes Zaire and Zaflan, the fictitious Lake Sachaf of Laurent Fries appears, as well as the R. de Spirito Santo. The map is further embellished with numerous ships, sea monsters (including a great seahorse), a compass rose and exotic animals wandering all over the continent. This is the third state of the map. French text on verso, published between 1647-50.

References: Betz #57.3; Norwich #32.

Condition: A

A fine impression with superb color. There are professional repairs to a tiny hole below <i>Asiae Pars</i>, a 1/4" crack in decorative border at right, and a small hole in northern Sudan with a small amount of image in facsimile.

Estimate: $4,000 - $4,750

Sold for: $3,250

Closed on 9/4/2013