"Presbiteri Johannis sive Abissinorum Impery Descriptio", Ortelius/Galle
Subject: Central Africa
Period: 1590 (published)
Publication: Epitome du Theatre du Monde d'Abraham Ortelius
Color: Hand Color
4.3 x 3 inches
10.9 x 7.6 cm
This handsome miniature map of the kingdom of the mythical Christian king, Prester John, is embellished with a galley ship firing on Melinde off the east coast and two elephants on the continent. The source of the Nile is shown as two large lakes. French text on verso. The first pocket version of Ortelius' Theatrum was published by Philippe Galle in 1577 as Spieghel der Werelt. Galle began a new edition with new plates, commonly known as the Epitome, in 1588. Galle's miniature atlas was quite popular, and was published in editions until 1602. From 1583 he gradually introduced a new set of maps, both adding to and replacing the originals. The plates were then passed to Jan B. Vrients, who retouched some of the plates and published the final editions of the Epitome in 1601 and 1602.
References: King (2nd Ed.) pp. 64-65 & 88-89; Van der Krogt (Vol. III) #8720:331.
A nice impression with marginal soiling.