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Publisher: Ali ŞEREF PAŞA (also Hafız Ali E
Title: [Title in Ottoman Turkish: SOUTHERN AFRICA].
Published in: Beyazit, Istanbul: مطبعه عا&
Size: 15.0 x 19.1 inches.
38.0 x 48.5 cm.

In original printed colours.
Condition: Colour Lithograph. Very good, original centrefold, light toning.
Condition Rating

A fine Ottoman map of Southern Africa from Ali Şeref Paşa’s rare ‘Yeñi coġrafya aṭlası’, published by the press of Matbaa-i Amire, the successor of İbrahim Müteferrika’s printing house, one of the largest and most detailed Ottoman general maps of the region.
This attractive map is one of the largest and most detailed general maps of Southern Africa to have been printed in the Ottoman Empire. It was issued as part of Ali Şeref Paşa’s rare Yeñi coġrafya aṭlası, published by the Matbaa-i Amire, a press which was the successor of İbrahim Müteferrika’s workshop, the first printing house in the Islamic world.
The map shows all Southern Africa, and indeed much of the central regions of the continent, encompassing all territories south of 5 degrees North. The view presents the continent as it appeared following the height of the ‘Scramble for Africa’, the jockeying by European powers to carve up the continent into colonial domains. While much of South Africa is taken up by the British colonies of the Cape and Natal, the still independent Afrikaner republics of the Orange Free State and the ZAR (Transvaal) occupy the interior, to the northeast, while British Rhodesia extends to the north. Portugal possess Mozambique and Angola. What is today Namibia is shown here to be German Southwest Africa., while today’s mainland Tanzania was German East Africa. In the heart of Africa is the Congo Free State, the ironically named personal fief of Belgium’s King Leopold II, a land soon to be made famous by Joseph Conrad’s novella Heart of Darkness (1899). Madagascar is shown to be controlled by France. The boundary between Angola and the Belgian Congo as shown here is curious, charting a line that predates the modern borders.

While the Ottomans never had a direct stake in Southern Africa, the region would then have been of great interest to Turkish audiences. Stories of the exploits of European explorers, the region’s vast mineral wealth; as well as of the wars fought between various powers were prominently featured in Ottoman newspapers and magazines.

This map was published in the very rare atlas ىگى جغرافىا آطلسى) Yeñi coġrafya aṭlası / New Geographical Atlas), issued in Istanbul in the 1890s. The maps are not numbered and the exact date of publication of the atlas is unclear. We can locate only two examples of the work in libraries worldwide, at the Universiteitsbibliotheek Leiden and the University of Chicago Library. The atlas includes 41 maps variously dated between 1892 to 1896, and it is possible that the work was published in revised editions with different collations of maps. All maps from this atlas are today rare.

Ali Şeref Paşa or Hafız Ali Eşref Not much is known about the author, who was known variously as Ali Şeref Paşa or Hafız

Ali Eşref. He was a soldier, who was schooled in Paris as a cartographer around 1862.

While in Paris he published his first atlas with 22 maps, called the Yeni atlas. Upon his return to Istanbul he became the chief cartographer at the Matbaa-i Amire Printing Press in Beyazit, the successor of Müteferrika’s famous press. Amongst other projects, he translated Heinrich Kiepert’s gargantuan map of Anatolia into Ottoman text. Ali died in 1907, leaving his large project of a gigantic map of Anatolia in 100 sheets unfinished.
Ali’s name is often misunderstood or even listed as two different people: Ali Şeref Paşa and Hafız Ali Eşref. Until the Turkish surname law was adopted on June 21, 1934, Turks did not generally have family. They were born with one first name and were often additionally named only as the sons or daughters of their parents. The higher classes were given titles such as Effendi (Sir), Bey (Chief) or Hanım (Madam), while others were often given names according to their work or class. The names were not inherited by children until 1934, when the surname law was enforced. The map maker Ali received the titles Şeref, meaning ‘the honourable’, as well as the dignitary title Paşa. Yet he was also known as Hafız, meaning ‘memorizer of the Qur’an’, as well as Eşref, meaning ‘proud’.

The Darüttıbaa - Matbaa-i Amire Printing Press
The first press in the Muslim world, called Darüttıbaa, was founded in Istanbul by İbrahim Müteferrika in 1727, with the permission of Sultan Ahmet III. It was located in Müteferrika’s house and issued its first book in 1729; sixteen other works followed until 1743.
After Müteferrika’s death in 1745 the press was supressed under pressure from conservative elements that argued that printing came with dangerous political and social ramifications. In 1796, Müteferrika’s press was revived, purchased by the government and moved to Üsküdar, on the Asian side of Istanbul. In 1831 it was moved again, to Beyazit, on the European side, where it was, in 1866, renamed the Matbaa-i Amire. The press was closed in 1901 and was reopened in 1908 under the name Millî. In 1927 the name changed again to the State Printing House. The press still exists and is today known for publishing educational books, giving it one of the most esteemed pedigrees of any printing establishment in the world.
Reference: OCLC: 67320386 (Leiden) and 902814729 (Chicago) for the atlas.

map Thumbnail Catalogue  book Catalogue  Category:  Africa | Check Archive |

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Ali ŞEREF PAŞA (also Hafız Ali E -  [Title in Ottoman Turkish: SOUTHERN AFRICA].
Ali ŞEREF PAŞA (also Hafız Ali E - [Title in Ottoman Turkish: SOUTHERN AFRICA]. high resolution image of old map
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