Catalog Archive

Auction 156, Lot 759

"Aethiopia Inferior, vel Exterior...", Blaeu, Willem

Subject: Southern Africa, Madagascar

Period: 1670 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

19.6 x 15 inches
49.8 x 38.1 cm
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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. Blank verso.

References: Norwich #154; Van der Krogt (Vol. II) #8800:2.

Condition: B+

Full original color with wide margins, several creases adjacent to centerfold, and minor soiling.

Estimate: $325 - $400

Sold for: $170

Closed on 2/17/2016