"Parte del Africa", Ramusio, Giovanni Battista
Subject: Western Africa
Period: 1554 (circa)
Publication: Delle Navigationi et Viaggi…
Color: Black & White
14.8 x 10.8 inches
37.6 x 27.4 cm
This superb woodblock map of Western Africa was compiled by the Venetian cartographer Gastaldi and published in this important 16th century description of voyages of discovery. The map covers from the Tropic of Cancer to the Equator and is filled with mountains and a variety of different trees, animals, and natives. The sea is bustling with sea monsters, native canoes, and two European ships. Along the coast of Guinea is a scene of natives paying homage to a chieftain and below that is the Portuguese fort, Castel de la Mina (present-day Elmina), which was founded in 1482 and became the major export center for African gold. The Senegal and Gambia Rivers and the Rio Grande are linked with the Niger River. This is an earlier example, with no evidence of worm tracks in the woodblock.
References: Norwich #314; Shirley (BL Atlases) G.RAMU-1a #7.
A crisp impression on watermarked paper with the border and a sliver of the image trimmed away at left and right. There is light, scattered foxing, several light damp stains, three small worm holes at bottom center, and printer's ink residue along the centerfold.