After Abraham Ortelius. “Africa.” From G. Botero’s Relationi Universali. Venice: I. Giunti, 1640. Copper engraving. 6 3/4 x 9 5/8. Strong impression. Very good condition.
An interesting antique map of Africa issued in Giovanni Botero’s popular work on the nations of the world. The map is a re-engraving of a plate which first appeared in 1582. It went through a number of modifications, including the unusual engraved line which circles the continent on this plate, though the basic geography reflects the original rendering after Abraham Ortelius. This depiction includes surprising accuracies and also delightful misconceptions, including the Nile arising in two lakes below the mountains of the moon in the far south. The engraving is very strong and the calligraphy graceful, and this is all capped by a wonderful sea-monster swimming in the southern Atlantic. This is a fascinating map from the seventeenth century and a lovely Italian engraving.