Catalog Archive
Auction 156, Lot 723

"Descrittione dell' Africa Secondo li uary suoi Paesi, Animali, & Mostri Horrendi", Munster, Sebastian

Subject: Africa

Period: 1558 (circa)

Publication: Cosmographia

Color: Black & White

6.3 x 5.1 inches
16 x 13 cm

Sebastian Munster (1489 - 1552) was one of the three most renowned cartographers of the sixteenth century, along with Mercator and Ortelius. Munster's Geographia and Cosmographia Universalis were two of the most widely read and influential books of the period. His editions of Ptolemy's Geographia, published between 1540 and 1552, were illustrated with 48 woodcut maps, the standard 27 Ptolemaic maps supplemented by 21 new maps. These new maps included a separate map of each of the known continents and marked the development of regional cartography in Central Europe. The antique geography was a prelude to Munster's major work, the Cosmographia, which was published in nearly 30 editions in six languages between 1544 and 1578 and then was revised and reissued by Sebastian Petri from 1588 to 1628. The Cosmographia was a geographical as well as historical and ethnographic description of the world. It contained the maps from the Geographia plus additional regional maps and city views with nearly 500 illustrations which made it one of the most popular pictorial encyclopedias of the sixteen century.

This small woodblock map of the continent excludes the Horn of Africa and the Cape of Good Hope. It concentrates on the many kingdoms of Central and North Africa and depicts the Nile's origins in twin lakes located near the Motes Lunae. Above the map is an image of a volcano erupting, and on the recto are images of a vineyard and a hunting dog. On a full sheet of Italian text measuring 8.3 x 12.6".

References: Norwich #5.

Condition: B+

A nice impression with a light stain at left.

Estimate: $140 - $170

Sold for: $130

Closed on 2/17/2016