Lot 472 of 541:
Ortelius map of Prester John's Africa 1573  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$720
$1,000 - $1,500

Presbiteri Johannis, sive Abissinorum Imperii descriptio

Ortelius, Abraham





Copper-engraved map, hand-colored (likely later). 37.3x43.5 cm (14¾x17¼").

Ortelius captivating map concentrating on central and east Africa. Tooley notes that "This map first appeared in the Additamentum of 1573 and then in all subsequent editions of the Theatrum. It depicts Africa from the Mediterranean to the Mountains of the Moon placed just below Mozambique. The legend of Prester-John, the Christian priest-King was generally believed. In Medieval and Renaissance times, his supposed kingdom was variously placed in India, China, and Arabia, but later transferred to Africa and to Abyssinia specifically. The map is dedicated to David, the son of Prester-John, who is called King of Goa, Caffates, etc., and his descent traced back to King Solomon. The East Coast of Africa is shown in greater detail than previously, Melinde, Mombasa, Quiloa and Mosambique are marked, these Arab settlements probably taken from Ibn Battuta's travels. The western shores of the continent are shown as the Kingdom of Manicongo, and continued northwards as far as Benin. Elephants are shown in the interior and an Arab dhow curiously enough, off the West Coast." Tooley, Maps of the African Continent, p.89.

Lot Amendments

Neat repairs along centerfold, crease at top margin crossing into the map that likely occurred during the printing; very good. Because of the size, additional shipping charges map apply.

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