Africae Vera Forma, et Situs
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Cornelius de Jode’s superb 1593 map of Africa.
Africae Vera Forma, et Situs (The true shape and situation of Africa) is a finely-executed copperplate production. The title, placed at the top in large lettering, is flanked by intricate jeweled strapwork bands. Balancing out West Africa on the right side of the page is a text box with seventeen lines of descriptive text about Africa. The map is richly adorned with ships and sea monsters and various vignettes scattered across the map.
As usual for contemporary maps of Africa, there is a significant gap between the accuracy and detail of the coast, and the lack of detail and invention of the interior of the continent. This map retains the coastal outline from Gastaldi, with the interior based primarily on Mercator’s world map of 1569. This is most evident in the river systems, including Sachaf lac as the source of the Zabere (Zembere), Cuama and R. d S. Spirito rivers in southern Africa. The map also incorporates information from Ortelius, including the placement of Zanzibar on the southwest coast.
Verso Text: Latin
A clear impression on watermarked paper, with little fading, no tears and only minor marginal soiling.
Betz, Richard L. The Mapping of Africa: A Cartobibliography of Printed Maps of the African Continent to 1700. Goy-Houten: Hes De Graaf, 2007, #27.
Norwich, I., and Pam Kolbe. Maps of Africa: An Illustrated and Annotated Carto-bibliography. Johannesburg: Ad. Donker, 1983, #19.