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MOLL, H. - To the Right Honourable Charles, Earl of Peterborow, and Monmouth, &c. This Map of Africa

MOLL, H. - To the Right Honourable Charles, Earl of Peterborow, and Monmouth, &c. This Map of Africa
To the Right Honourable Charles, Earl of Peterborow, and Monmouth, &c. This Map of Africa - MOLL, H.
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Title : To the Right Honourable Charles, Earl of Peterborow, and Monmouth, &c. This Map of Africa.
Map maker : MOLL, H..
Date : London, c1720.
Size : 23.3 x 38.4 inches. / 59.3 x 97.5 cm.
Colouring : Org. o/l colouring

Description :Herman's Moll's magnificently detailed large scale map of Africa, one of the finest and probably most decorative depictions of the continent made in the eighteenth-century!
This elegant wall-map of Africa evinces the fact that the continent's coastlines were then very well-known, in great contrast to its heart, referred to as "Ethiopia," a land "wholly unknown to the Europeans." While various European explorers had gone some distance up the Senegal, Niger, Nile and Zambezi rivers, the enigmatic nature of the interior would remain largely intact until the third quarter of the nineteenth-century. As indicated by the detailed toponymy of the west African coast, various European powers maintained an active presence there; a pictorial inset in the lower left of the map depicts "Cape Coast Castle," a major British fortress in modern-day Guinea. The Portuguese controlled trade south of the Congo River on the west coast, and on the eastern coast in the busy trading regions centered on the island of Zanzibar. South Africa was dominated by the Dutch, who founded Cape Town in 1652.
A beautiful view of the majestic harbour of the Cape, featuring the unmistakable sight of Table Mountain occupies the lower right of the map. Moll drew on Edmond Halley's revolutionary hydrological chart for his detailed depiction of the ocean currents. This includes the annual periods and direction of the Monsoons in the Indian Ocean that could either greatly assist or completely hinder the progress of sailing vessels.
The map shows the whole continent as well as Madagascar, portions of the coast of Asia, Ceylon, India, and Brazil, along with an inset view of the Cape of Good Hope, showing the bay filled with ships, Table Mountain and a key to the locations noted. The three other insets include Cape Coast Castle on the Gold Coast of Guinea, James Fort on St. Helena and a plan of the Fort of Good Hope. Includes a fascinated note in Guinea "I am credibly informed that ye country about 400 leagues North of the Coast of Guinea is inhabited by white Men, or at least a different kind of People from the Blacks, who wear Cloaths, and have ye use of Letters, make Silk, and that some of them keep the Christian Sabbath." The old sources of the Nile, Lakes Zaire and Zaflan, have been turned into swamps and are no longer connected to the Nile.

The sea is filled with indications of currents, as well as a good route to take to the East Indies from England. Decorated with a lovely compass rose and a cartouche that has a native wrestling a crocodile, an ostrich, two battling snakes, a lion and an elephant.
Moll was the most important cartographer working in London during his era. In many cases, his works are amongst the very finest maps of their subjects ever created with toponymy in the English language. ° ¤

Tooley (Africa), pp.77-78, No. 59. Tooley, (M&M), p. 113
Condition : Copperplate engraving with original outline colour. Good impression on thick hand-laid paper. Repaired tears with some wear to folds.
Some creasing. Mostly clean, some faint toning and soiling. Fair to good condition. Still a striking piece!

ID: 99968

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