Copper engraving with original hand colouring.Overall sheet size: 58.8cms x 47.5cms ; image size: 528mm x 387mm. French text set in two columns indicating the 1638 edition and so the last in W Blaeu's lifetime. This map shows the coast of Africa between Sierra Leone and Gabon, including the Ivory, Gold & Slave Coasts in great detail, including the European outposts. Even though West Africa was a heavily populated area, there are few notations about African towns and political divisions. The only refernce to mankind is the European sailing ships in the sea. It could be said that this map emphasises the riches of the country and implies that it is uninhabited and there for the taking. The cartouche is embellished with figures of three monkeys and two natives, each of the natives hold strings of beads with one holding a spear and the other a parrot. Two winged cherubs carry a large Ivory Tusk. On the inland sections there are illustrations of Elephants, Monkeys, Lions and other animals. The land shows elephants , monkeys and lions . One fox spot to the right of the title cartouche and a little dusting and odd mark to margins else very good condition indeed. Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571-1638) was the founder of the Blaeu publishing firm and established the fine reputation of Blaeu maps. In 1634 he commenced publication of the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum or Novus Atlas and on his death he was succeeded by his son Johannes (1596-1673). Johannes continuously enlarged and updated the Theatrum up to 1658, including adding a separate volume devoted to England and Wales. Later the Theatrum was expanded to form the Atlas Maior, published from 1658 to 1672 in five languages, and generally regarded as the pinnacle of atlas- publishing. The Atlas Maior finally incorporated over 650 maps usually found in superb original colour.
|Map maker||Blaeu, Willem|
|Published at year||1638|
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