Blaeu's Carte-a-Figures Map of Africa
"Africae Nova Descriptio", Blaeu, Willem
Period: 1643 (circa)
Publication: Theatre du Monde ou Nouvel Atlas
Color: Hand Color
21.8 x 16.1 inches
55.4 x 40.9 cm
This is one of the most decorative seventeenth century maps of the African continent and a superb example of the Dutch carte-a-figures style. The map is surrounded on three sides with vignettes of native peoples and nine principal cities. The Nile is shown according to Ptolemy with its sources arising in the lakes Zaire and Zaflan, the fictitious Lake Sachaf of Laurent Fries appears, as well as the R. de Spirito Santo. The map is further embellished with numerous ships, sea monsters (including a great seahorse), a compass rose and exotic animals wandering all over the continent. This is the third state of the map with some re-engraving of the copperplate. French text on verso, published between 1643-50.
References: Betz #57.3; Norwich #32; Van der Krogt (Vol. II) #8600:2.
Very light toning, soiling and foxing. There are small dampstains along the top edge of the sheet, and a tiny centerfold separation at bottom.