By: Jodocus Hondius
Date: 1659 (published) Amsterdam
Original Size: 16.5 x 22 inches
This is a fine print reproduction of a 17th century, decorative map of Africa originally published at the height of the golden age of Dutch map making.
As was the case with most 17th century maps of the African continent, the geography is largely speculative and follows Blaeu's map of 1617. The Cuama River is depicted to originate in the mountains rather than in the Sachaf Lake below the Mountains of the Moon (Lunae Montes). The origin of the Nile conforms to the Ptolemaic tradition of the two twin lakes south of the equator. The Kingdom of Monomotapa occupies a large area of southern Africa.
Surrounding the map on three sides are decorative panels that present the various native people of Africa in their traditional garb. Above the map, a frieze displays six bird's eye views of important African cities and ports, including Tunis, Alexandria, Tanger, and Alger. The map is beautifully embellished with numerous vignettes of sailing ships, sea monsters, and a wide variety of animals within the interior.
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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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