Catalog Archive

Auction 156, Lot 758

"Aethiopia Superior vel Interior; Vulgo Abissinorum sive Presbiteri Ioannis Imperium", Jansson, Jan

Subject: Central Africa

Period: 1646 (circa)

Publication: Atlas Novus

Color: Hand Color

19.4 x 15.1 inches
49.3 x 38.4 cm
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This map depicts the legendary Christian Kingdom of Prester John. Fabled rivers and numerous exotic animals fill the otherwise empty spaces of the unexplored interior. There is a fair amount of detail on the eastern coast, reflecting the Portuguese and Arab trading interests. Mogadishu, Mombassa, Quiloa [Kilwa] and Mozambique are shown as major towns, and the west coast is shown from Benin to Angola with the Zaire River prominently featured. The Ptolemaic twin lakes of Zaflan and Zembre are shown as sources of the Nile below the Equator, with the Mountains of the Moon (Lunae Montes) shown below. A native family surrounds the title cartouche with chubby infants warding off the bright sun with parasols. This map is nearly identical to Blaeu's map of the same title and is distinguished by the flourishing calligraphy in the oceans. Latin text on verso, published between 1646-57.

References: Van der Krogt (Vol. I) #8720:1B.

Condition: B

Full original color, backed in Japanese tissue to repair a number of cracks caused by oxidation, with very minor loss of image.

Estimate: $300 - $375

Sold for: $220

Closed on 2/17/2016