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Henricus Hondius: Africae Nova Tabula

Map: AFR6092
Cartographer: Henricus Hondius
Title: Africae Nova Tabula
Date: c. 1653
Published: Amsterdam
Width: 20 inches / 51 cm
Height: 16 inches / 41 cm
Map ref: AFR6092
Iconic and highly decorative Dutch Golden Age rendition of the continent of Africa.

This map has a long and distinguished publishing history. It was first issued by Jodocus Hondius Jr. in 1619. In this version, it also bore four wide illustrated borders depicting costumed figures appertaining to the continent on the left and right together with major settlements on its upper and lower borders. The copper plate was re-credited to Henricus Hondius, brother of Jodocus, in 1631 and the decorative borders were masked to align the map with other pages of the great folio atlas which Henricus was in the process of planning and issuing.

Cartographically, the map is based on the folio map issued by W. Blaeu in 1617. This map in turn was based on Blaeu’s wall map of 1608 which was ultimately based on a multitude of sources including Leo Africanus, Abraham Ortelius, Filippo Pigafetta, Giovanni Ramusio and above all, Giacomo Gastaldi of Venice who produced a wall map of Africa in 1564.

Despite the lack of decorative borders, this map remains one of the most attractive depictions of the continent available to the collector. As well as multiple vignettes of wild animals in the interior of the continent, the seas bear several ships together with lurking sea monsters and flying fish.

This is an example of the fifth state of the Hondius map, identified by the removal of the date from the title cartouche. The Spanish descriptive text on the verso gives us a publication date range of 1653-66.

Original hand colour. Image of reverse available on request. [Betz (R.L.): The Mapping of Africa 58.5] [AFR6067]