|Dimensions||Image 232 x 330 mm, Plate 238 x 335 mm, Sheet 315 x 365 mm|
A view of the port-town of Larache, Morocco, from the German edition of Dapper's Naukeurige Beschrijvinge der Afrikaensche Gewesten, commonly known as the Description of Africa. The prospect, taken from the Atlantic looking back towards the port, shows the skyline of the town and fort, with numerous sailing vessels and smaller craft populating the harbour. Larache, on the Atlantic coast south of Tangier, has changed hands numerous times over the last five centuries, having been the object of sieges, blockades, and captures by the Portuguese, French, British, and Spanish. In between the periods of colonial rule, it was notorious as an important haven for Moroccan piracy. The town itself is the modern successor of the ancient Mauritanian city of Lixus, which traced its origin to the Phoenicians, and was an important centre in the Roman era. Some classical geographers and mythographers equated the region with the Garden of the Hesperides.
Olfert Dapper's 'Description of Africa' was an ethnographic book which offered a detailed description of the parts of Africa known to Europeans in the mid-seventeenth century. Despite the work being regarded as one of the most important and detailed seventeenth-century publications on Africa, Dapper himself never actually visited the continent. Instead, he relied on the reports of Jesuit missionaries and Dutch explorers. The 'Description of Africa' was first published in 1668 by Jacob van Meurs in Amsterdam, with a second Dutch edition appearing in 1676. In 1670, a German translation of the publication was issued, and in the same year, an English translation, which is generally attributed to John Ogilby. A French edition was published in 1676, although it was not as true to the original as the other translations.
Olfert Dapper (1636 - 1689) was a Dutch physician and writer. Despite never travelling outside of the Netherlands, Dapper was a writer of world history and geography.
Condition: Central vertical fold, as issued. Time toning to edges of sheet and central fold. Some staining and foxing to plate. Small puncture to centre right of image, above the Fort. Blank on verso.