[Continental Africa - map with Ottoman script]
$200 / ≈ €174
This attractive little Ottoman map of Africa captures the continent in the heady days following the European Powers’ ‘Scramble for Africa’ and just before World War I. British, French, Portuguese, German and Belgian colonial possessions are shown. Curiously, however, the map shows much of northern African to still be within the Ottoman sphere, colored ‘pink’, while supposedly transitional areas are shaded with pink lines; a generous interpretation of the Sublime Porte’s authority, to say the least. In 1909, Algeria and Tunisia were controlled by France; Egypt and Sudan were British protectorates (albeit de jure Ottoman possessions); and while Libya would remain under Ottoman rule until 1912. The reality was that Ottoman authority was very thin on the ground in Africa.
Nevertheless, the pink areas on the map show the historical Turkish zone of influence, when counting their traditional African provinces, plus the desert areas that fell under some form of Ottoman economic or political influence..
The present map comes from Mehmet Eşref’s Küçük Atlas (Small Atlas), an unusual work of 128 loose-leaf postcard sized maps, housed within a portfolio cover and accompanied by a 32-page brochure. Even though the period before World War I saw a great flourishing of Ottoman cartography, the Küçük Atlas was extraordinary in that it included a wide range of regional maps of Asia and Africa, as well as thematic maps, that in some cases are probably the only Ottoman maps of those subjects.
The Küçük Atlas is very rare, Worldcat lists only a single example, at the Boğaziçi University Library, Istanbul. All individual maps from the atlas are likewise rare.
The present map comes from an incomplete example of the atlas, so is offered separately.
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