Catalog Archive
Auction 169, Lot 715

First Map to Correctly Show Source of Nile River

"L'Afrique, Dressee sur les Observations de Mrs. de l'Academie Royale des Sciences...", Delisle, Guillaume

Subject: Africa

Period: 1700 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

22.9 x 17.6 inches
58.2 x 44.7 cm
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This is Delisle's landmark map of Africa, and is distinguished by his scientific approach to cartography. Most of the maps of Africa issued in the eighteenth century were based on this map. Delisle's map shows the source of the Nile River correctly for the first time with its origins in Abyssinia, rather than the two Ptolemaic-based lakes. The Congo or River Zaire, R. du Saint Esprit and the Zambezi appear in the south, along with the Dutch settlement of Hellenbok at the Cape. Several native kingdoms are named, as well as the site of various mining districts. The title cartouche is beautifully decorated with elephants, an ostrich, natives and a crocodile. This is the fourth state with Renard's imprint barely visible below the title cartouche, published between 1708-18.

References: Betz #174.4; Norwich #59.

Condition: B+

A nice impression on watermarked paper with original wash and outline color. There is light soiling, an archivally repaired centerfold separation that enters 3.5" into image at bottom, and light toning along the edges of the sheet.

Estimate: $400 - $500

Sold for: $300

Closed on 9/12/2018