1607 Africa Ex magna orbis terre descriptione Gerardi Mercatoris desumpta, Studio & industria

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By: Gerard Mercator (Junior)

Date: 1607 (published) Amsterdam

Dimensions: 15 x 18.5 inches (38.1 x 47 cm)

This is an authentic antique map of the Africa, by Gerard Mercator Junior. The map was published out of Amsterdam circa 1607.

This old color map of Africa was one of the most influential maps of the continent during its time. This atlas version of the map was engraved by Gerard Mercator’s grandson whom based the map off of the grandfather’s 21 sheet world map published in 1569. Widely regarded as one of the most geographically accurate maps of Africa for its time, the map displays great detail with regard to the locations of rivers and place names along the entire coast. European exploration is depicted throughout the map, but especially so with the delineation of the Cuama ( Zambezi) River in the northern portion of Benamataxa. Much of the interior geography of the map was derived from Ptolemaic beliefs, most notably is the depiction of the Nile originating from two lakes within “Lune Montes,” (Mountains of the Moon).

Unlike many other maps of Africa from the 16th and 17th centuries, this map lacks the numerous vignettes of animals and scenes of indigenous people that were often times schematically placed in area of geographic uncertainty to hide the cartographer’s ignorance of the massive continent. The only figure placed on the map is that of the legendary Prester John along the western bank of the Nile River. Prester John was believed to be a Catholic king / priest with a ruling kingdom somewhere within the interiors of Ethiopia.

Condition: Map is in C+ condition, with strong paper toning, a few professionally repaired separations and original color.

Inventory #18581

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