[Ethiopia / Abyssinia - map with Ottoman script]
$150 / ≈ €143
This is a fine little Ottoman map of Ethiopia, embracing the entire territory of that proud nation, then one of the only parts of Africa to remain free of European colonization. The map would have been of great interest to Turkish viewers, as the Ottoman Empire, which traditionally dominated the Red Sea, had fleetingly controlled parts of Eritrea, and had a long history of conflict with Ethiopia, although relations had become more cordial as of late. Recently, Ethiopia, had defeated an Italian invasion during the First Italo-Ethiopian War (1894-6). The present map is one of the only Ottoman maps to focus upon Ethiopia.
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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