Catalog Archive
Auction 164, Lot 694

"Africa", Ortelius/Vrients

Subject: Africa

Period: 1601 (published)

Publication: Epitome Theatri Orteliani

Color: Hand Color

Size:
4.3 x 3.1 inches
10.9 x 7.9 cm

This handsome miniature map of Africa is lacking a great deal of detail but is interesting for its strange depiction of the Nile, which originates in a large lake south of the Equator. From this lake four large rivers flow to the seas: the Nile to the Mediterranean, the Congo to the Atlantic, what could be the Zambeze to the Indian Ocean, and a fourth spurious river flowing south. There are only two town identified south of the Sahara Desert: Sierra Leone and Mina in Guinea. Latin text on verso.

This map was published in Filips Galle's series of Epitome, which first appeared in 1588. Galle was unimpressed with the maps in the Spieghel der Wereld, and therefore gradually replaced nearly all of them through the various editions of his Epitome. The new maps had simple double-lined borders and were widely copied by others. The plates were acquired by Jan Baptist Vrients circa 1600, who published three more editions in 1601 and 1602, retouching some of the plates and replacing a few more. By the time Vrients' 1601 edition was published, only 10 of the original maps remained.

References: Betz #28; King (2nd Ed.) pp. 64-65 & 88-89; Van der Krogt (Vol. III) #8600:332.

Condition: A

A crisp impression with marginal soiling and a few creases confined to the blank margins.

Estimate: $140 - $170

Sold for: $70

Closed on 9/13/2017

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