C1570
 (1592)

Africae Tabula Nova.

First state of Ortelius’ influential map of Africa from his Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, widely regarded as the first modern atlas for having all the maps in a similar size and format. Ortelius was also the first to separate the ancient … Read Full Description

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S/N: ORTE-008-AF-1592L4–184144
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Details

Full Title:

Africae Tabula Nova.

Date:

C1570
 (1592)

Condition:

In good condition.

Technique:

Hand coloured copper engraving.

Image Size: 

505mm 
x 370mm

Frame Size: 

815mm 
x 685mm
AUTHENTICITY
Africae Tabula Nova. - Antique Map from 1570

Genuine antique
dated:

1592

Description:

First state of Ortelius’ influential map of Africa from his Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, widely regarded as the first modern atlas for having all the maps in a similar size and format. Ortelius was also the first to separate the ancient and recent geographic knowledge when compiling his maps and indicating the changes from the old nomeclature to the new. Unlike many of his contemporaries Ortelius often listed the sources of his information. The engraving of all the copper plates was done by Frans Hogenberg (1539-1590). The map is superbly decorated with an elaborate strapwork title incorporating a pair of caryatids, at the top of which a panel has the words, The Greeks call Africa Lybia, and the seas have various marine life and a raging sea battle in the lower right corner. Ortelius based this map on three maps by the most important cartographers of the sixteenth century: Gastaldi’ 1564 separately-issued eight-sheet map, Forlani’ 1566 map and Mercator’ 1569 world map. Many of the names of coastal towns and other landmarks featured on Gastaldi’ map are Portuguese and Arab, reflecting their dominant position in the Indian Ocean in the sixteenth century. The Portuguese had dispelled Ptolemy’ concept of a landlocked Indian Ocean by sailing round the Cape in 1497. This allowed them to sail onto India via the African east coast, effectively bypassing the Arab-controlled spice route of the Red Sea, thereby altering the international balance of power. While early maps depicted a fairly accurate African coastline, most of inner Africa would remain unexplored until the nineteenth century. As a result, early maps of Africa were often influenced by myth and other fanciful concepts, leading Jonathan Swift to state ‘ geographers, in Africa maps, With savage pictures fill their gaps, And o’ uninhabitable downs Place elephants for want of towns’. This map remained the standard map of the continent for the remainder of the sixteenth century.

1592L4 13th line from the bottom ends: apud last line, left aligned: ximo, habes litteras Ioannis Baptist� Rhamusi, &amp Hieronymi Fracastorij. References: Broecke 8 1592L4, Koeman Ort 15A (4), Norwich 10, Reinhartz p.75, ill.p.75.

Abraham Ortelius (1527 - 1598)

Ortelius was a Flemish cartographer, map seller and publisher. Ortelius was a leading cartographer who published the first modern atlas in 1570, Theatrum orbis terrarum in which each map was presented on a separate sheet. He initially trained as an engraver in 1547 and as an illuminator of maps. Influenced by Gerard Mercator he published his first map in 1564 and soon after published his famous atlas that changed the way maps were sold and published.

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