Typus orarum maritimarum Guineae, Manicongo & Angolae ultra Promentorium Bonae spei susq…
By: Jan Huygen Van Linschoten & Arnold Van Langren
Date: 1596 (published) Amsterdam
Original Size: 22 x 15 inches
This is a fine print reproduction of one of the most richly ornamented maps of Africa to come out of the 16th century. The map was originally engraved in the Flemish style by Arnold Florent van Langren and featured in Linschoten's Itinerario.
The map shows the coast of Africa from Guinea to South Africa. The coast is drawn in fine detail from the Gulf of Guinea to just beyond the Cape of Good Hope. In the interior, the fictitious cities of Vigiti Magna and Monomotapa are located and most place names and geographical features have Portuguese nomenclature. Animals and other creatures dot the interior. A lion stares intently, watching a pair of snakes to the northwest. An elephant and a rhino face off farther south. In Lake Zaire ( Zaire lacus), two mermaids play musical instruments.
In an elaborate scrollwork cartouche in the Atlantic are two beautiful, large inset profile views. On the left is Ascension, with its strange peaks. A ship is already at anchor with more on the horizon. Decorative compass roses, sailing ships, and a sea monster ornament the ocean within an elaborate web of rhumb lines.
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What can be referred to as modern cartography has been around for over 550 years. Throughout that time an enormous amount of new land was discovered, cities were founded while others perished. International trade and travel became the norm, political borders were ever-changing, and numerous wars were waged. With all that being said, hundreds of thousands of maps were created that show such events and episodes in time.
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