Africae Tabula Nova
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A very attractive example of this famous and important map of the continent of Africa - one of the earliest available from one of the most important atlas publications in cartography. Following the death of their father, Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598) and his sisters became map illuminators or colourists; and Ortelius also dabbled in buying and selling general antiques. From 1558 onwards, he is recorded as purchasing multiple copies of maps in order to colour them, but also began building up a large personal collection. From about 1560, possibly as a result of his friendship with Gerhard Mercator, Ortelius began to produce maps - an eight sheet world map being the earliest. At this time, Ortelius also began preparing his greatest publication the "Theatrum Orbis Terrarum". Having already become probably the greatest cartographic bibliographer of the period, Ortelius was able to prepare 53 map sheets based on the most up-to-date information, which were engraved by Frans Hogenberg, and first published in 1570. The atlas achieved instant fame as "the world's first regularly produced atlas" (Skelton), being the first atlas with maps prepared to a uniform format. It was also an immediate commercial success, being reprinted four times in 1570. The atlas was frequently reprinted up to 1612, with many of the maps re-engraved and up-dated, and new maps added so that later editions contained up to 163 map sheets. This map of Africa is clearly engraved with a large titlepiece at lower left, three sea monsters in the Atlantic and a naval battle scene at lower right. The map has good margins with a little reinforcement to lower centrefold weakness.
region: Maps of Africa - The Continent
mapmaker: A. Ortelius
place and date of publication: Antwerp 1570 - 1573
medium and colour: copperplate, Colouredref: 44197
size in mm: 375 by 500mm (14.75 by 19.75 inches).
literature: Van Den Broecke, Printed Maps Of Africa, 8.
Price: £ 1200
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