Blaeu’s highly decorative map of Africa

By BLAEU, Willem, 1630 

Africae Nova Descriptio.

Africa Continent of Africa
  • Author: BLAEU, Willem
  • Publication place: [Amsterdam
  • Publisher: W. J. Blaeu
  • Publication date: 1617].
  • Physical description: Double-page engraved map with fine original hand colouring.
  • Dimensions: 410 by 550mm. (16.25 by 21.75 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 12258

Notes

On the top margins are nine inset views of the main cities, mostly in North Africa, and the side margins are decorated with inset vignettes of costumed people. The many coastal names are engraved inland, in order to give the map a fuller appearance. Many of the place names inland are fictitious, and the empty spaces are filled with wild animals such as elephants, lions, crocodiles and monkeys. In the sea, all ships fly the Dutch flag whilst avoiding the sea monsters. 

Bibliography

  1. Norwich 32.
    • Norwich, O., Kolbe, P. and Stone, J. (1997). Norwich’s maps of Africa. Norwich, Vt.: Terra Nova Press.