"Abissinorum sive Pretiosi Ioannis Imperiu", Mercator/Hondius
Subject: Central Africa
Period: 1634 (published)
Publication: Gerardi Mercatoris - Atlas sive Cosmographicae
Color: Hand Color
19.3 x 13.5 inches
49 x 34.3 cm
The legendary kingdom of the Christian Prester John is the central focus of this impressive map of central Africa. It is cartographically similar to Ortelius' map, based on the travels of the Portuguese explorer, Francisco Alveres, who searched for the mythical kingdom in 1520. The kingdom itself is shown atop the Amara Mons in the region that Alveres encountered the Coptic Christian ruler David II. The large inset of the Congo region, also based on Ortelius, illustrates the travels of another Portuguese explorer, Duarte Lopez. The Nile is shown with its source in the Ptolemaic twin lakes of Zaire and Zaflan, at the foot of the Mountains of the Moon (Lunae Montes). The stunning sheet is graced with strapwork title and scale of miles cartouches and a bold moire patterned sea. Dutch text on verso.
References: Van der Krogt (Vol. I) #8720:1A.
A dark impression with some printer's ink residue and show-through of text on verso.