|Dimensions||265 x 360 mm|
A seventeenth century map of West Africa, showing the historic regions of the Gambia, Guinea, Benin, the Congo, and Angola, from the German edition of Dapper's Naukeurige Beschrijvinge der Afrikaensche Gewesten, commonly known as the Description of Africa. The interior of the region contains depictions of various animals, including elephants, lions, and ostriches. Mountain ranges and hills are shown pictorially, and the Equator is marked by a thick dashed line. Numerous sailing ships ply the waters off the west African coast, alluding to its history as a principal source for European slavers. The map is further ornamented by a pair of decorative cartouches. The title cartouche includes a somewhat romantic image of Europeans trading with Africans, and a pet elephant, while the scale in German miles features cupids holding a tiger, as well monkeys, a tortoise, a swordfish, and Neptune.
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: Vertical centre fold as issued. Minor time toning to margins, not affecting image.