Blaeu's Carte-a-Figures Map of Africa with Rare Blank Verso
"Africae Nova Descriptio", Blaeu, Willem
Period: 1647 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
21.8 x 16.1 inches
55.4 x 40.9 cm
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 with some re-engraving of the copperplate. Blank verso.
References: Betz #57.3; Norwich #32; Van der Krogt (Vol. II) #8600:2.
A dark, crisp impression with wide margins and very light soiling to the left of the centerfold and in the blank margins. There is one small worm hole in the border at bottom left that has been professionally infilled.