Catalog Archive
Auction 168, Lot 654

Hondius' Map of Africa Filled with Decorative Elements

"Africae Nova Tabula", Hondius, Henricus

Subject: Africa

Period: 1631 (dated)

Publication: Nouvel Atlas

Color: Hand Color

19.7 x 14.9 inches
50 x 37.8 cm
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This richly ornamented map of the continent is Henricus Hondius' issue of Jodocus Hondius' map, but without the decorative borders that were masked in order to fit the map into an atlas format. The geography is largely speculative and follows Blaeu's map of 1617 with the Cuama River originating in the mountains rather than in the Sachaf Lake below the Mountains of the Moon (Lunae Montes). The origin of the Nile conforms to the Ptolemaic tradition of the two twin lakes south of the equator. The Kingdom of Monomotapa occupies a large area of southern Africa. Ornamentation includes a wreath-style title cartouche, sailing ships, flying fish, various sea monsters, and Neptune consorting with a comely mermaid. Elephants, lions, zebras, ostriches, and even a dragon occupy the interior. This is the third state, from the French edition published between 1639-49 with French text on verso.

References: Betz #58.3; cf. Norwich #34; Van der Krogt #8600:1D.2.

Condition: B+

Attractive old color with a centerfold separation at bottom and a tear at left that both enter 1/2" into the map image and have been professionally repaired on verso. Marginal soiling.

Estimate: $1,500 - $1,800

Sold for: $800

Closed on 6/6/2018