Excellent, pre-Columbus 1478 map of Northwest Africa and part of Iberia.

Prima Africae Tabula

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SKU: NL-00613 Category: Tag:
Date: 1478
Place: Rome
Dimensions: 56 x 43 cm (22 x 17 in)
Condition Rating: VG
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A wonderful example of the Northwest Africa plate from the first Rome edition of Ptolemy’s Cosmographia, issued on October 10, 1478. A true reflection of the Renaissance, the map is based on the ‘rediscovery’ of the scholarship of Claudius Ptolemy, who produced the world’s first treatise on geography in the second century CE.

We have determined the issue date of 1478 based the paper’s watermark, using the research found in the article cited in the references section below.

The map itself displays the typical Ptolemaic style, with stylized mountains and rivers, stippled seas, and geographic information in the margin. A delightful Pillars of Hercules is shown at the Straights of Gibraltar.

Condition Description

Worn, especially around the margins, and spot blemishes. Some discoloration along the centerfold.


R.H.J. Peerlings, F. Laurentius, J. van den Bovenkamp. The Watermarks in the Rome Editions of Ptolemy’s Cosmography and More. Quaerendo 47 (2017) 307-327.