"Tabula Geogra: Regni Congo", Bry, Theodore de
Subject: Western Africa
Period: 1597 (circa)
Publication: Petits Voyages, Part I
Color: Black & White
14.9 x 12.1 inches
37.8 x 30.7 cm
This copper engraving is from a remarkable series of publications, illustrating voyages of discovery and travels of exploration to various parts of the world. The project was begun by Theodore de Bry of Frankfurt, in 1590 and was to continue for another 54 years. They became known collectively as the Grands Voyages (to America and the West Indies) and the Petits Voyages (to the Orient and the East Indies). De Bry died after the first six parts of the Grands Voyages were completed. The project was completed initially by his widow and two sons, Johann Theodore de Bry and Johann Israel de Bry, then by his son-in-law, Matthaus Merian in 1644.
This boldly engraved map covers the Congo region of the West African coast from just south of the equator to present-day Angola. It features a highly conjectural Congo river system, dramatic topography, and imaginary cities. The map is adorned by an elaborate cartouche with an alternate title and an ornate compass rose. The map originally accompanied a description by Pigafetta of Eduardo Lopez's visit to the region in 1578.
References: Garratt (TMC-9) pp. 9-10.
A nice impression issued folding, now flat, on watermarked paper with light soiling at bottom. There are some edge tears at bottom and a 3.5" tear at left that have all been professionally repaired on verso. The left, right, and bottom margins have been extended with archival materials.