Catalog Archive
Auction 187, Lot 651

Bunting's Unique Map of Africa

"Africa Tertia Pars Terrae", Bunting, Heinrich

Subject: Africa

Period: 1600 (circa)

Publication: Itinerarium Sacrae Scripturae

Color: Black & White

13.8 x 11 inches
35.1 x 27.9 cm
Download High Resolution Image
(or just click on image to launch the Zoom viewer)

A very rare woodcut map of the continent with an unusual shape, tapering to a point in the south. In its own way, it is as unique and novel as Bunting's famous allegorical maps. The interior is presented in the traditional manner with the Nile rising from twin lakes in the Montes Lunae. However, Bunting introduces a third, even larger lake, Nidilis lacus, in central Africa, and a small lake to the east as additional sources for the Nile. Baba Meroe, the mythical tombs of the Nubian Kings, are located on a large island in the Nile River. Priester Johans Land, mythical kingdom of the Christian king Prester John, is located at the juncture of the Blue and White Nile. Der Weissen Morenland (the White Moors) are shown in northwest Africa, and Der Schwartzen Morenland (the Black Moors) are in the central region. The island of Zaphala and a group of other small islands occupy roughly the position of Madagascar, and probably refers to the region from which King Solomon supposedly acquired the gold and silver for his temple. The surrounding seas are engraved in narrow wavy lines and include a sailing ship, merman, and a sea bird. Bunting's popular theological commentary was first published in 1581, but did not include this separate map of Africa until 1589. This is the third state with the placement of Alcayr (Cairo) on the west bank of the Nile, and Memphis on the east bank. German text on verso.

References: Betz #24.3; Norwich #17; Tooley (MCC-29) #141.

Condition: B+

A dark impression with minor toning and light soiling that is mostly confined to the blank margins. There are archival repairs to some small chips along the bottom edge of the sheet.

Estimate: $950 - $1,200

Sold for: $700

Closed on 4/27/2022