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LINSCHOTEN, J. - [ Map of Africa ]



LINSCHOTEN, J. - [ Map of Africa ]
[ Map of Africa ] - LINSCHOTEN, J.
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Title : [ Map of Africa ].
Map maker : LINSCHOTEN, J..
Date : London, John Wolfe, 1598.
Size : 24.5 x 16.8 inches. / 62.2 x 42.5 cm.
Colouring : Black and White

Description :Extremly rare map of Africa, engraved by William Rogers and published by John Wolfe. The map occurs in the 1598 English edition of Jan Huyghen van Linschoten's Itinerario.This beautifully engraved map of Africa was the result of Jan Huygen van Linschoten's personal experiences traveling around the world, combined with a large number of elements gleaned from his own imagination, as well as legends and myths of distant and exotic lands.
It was included in Linschoten's "Itinerario" or account of his voyages, which was first published in Amsterdam in 1596. The Itinerario encompassed his explorations of the geography, peoples and natural history of Africa, India and China, and the New World. Important for a number of reasons, Linschoten's Voyages was the first work published outside of Portugal and Spain to provide detailed practical information on how to reach and carry on trade with America and India. As such, it served as a direct stimulus to the building of the vast English and Dutch overseas empires.
Linschoten's Itinerario was produced to inform and stimulate interest in the newly established trading colonies, and it was indispensable to commercial navigators. Covering the Indies, both African coasts, and South America, the book was a compendium of sailing directions, information on islands, harbors, local produce and so on -- in general terms, a guide for any merchant wishing to trade in these exciting and active new markets. Linschoten had spent several years in India, where he obtained much of his information for both the text and cartographic content of his book. As a result of his exhaustive research, the Itinerario was of immense benefit to merchant mariners for its detail on trade and navigation throughout the Indies. The maps that accompanied the Itinerario are of particular interest, for they were based largely on Portuguese sea charts that were never otherwise printed.
In addition to the importance of their cartographic content, they are amongst the most sumptuously designed and engraved maps of any period.

This particular map is even more notable for emerging from the scarce English edition of Linschoten's Voyages, which was produced by John Wolfe in London, with maps re-engraved by Robert Beckit and William Rogers. This map has a splendid baroque cartouche surmounted by trumpeting angels, which includes text relating to "a description of Egypt from Cair downeward."
The map is lavishly embellished, with wondrous sea monsters and sailing ships in the oceans, and an elegant compass rose is complemented by flourished calligraphy. This is a spectacular and animated depiction of this region, showing the best state of 16th-century European geographical knowledge.
From a book of inestimable importance and authority in forming the European conception of Africa, this map represents a rare opportunity for collectors.

Condition : Trimmed to plate. Toning throughout. A repaired tear to the left-hand margin.


ID: 99986




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