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Map: Africae Tabula Nova, by Abraham Ortelius, 1570
This striking map is one of the cornerstone maps of Africa and remained the standard map of Africa well into the seventeenth century. It was designed by Abraham Ortelius from elements of contemporary maps by Gastaldi, Mercator, and Forlani and was incorporated into"Theatrum Orbis Terrarum" in 1570. Often considered the world’s first modern atlas, Theatrum was at the time the most expensive book ever published. Despite this, it was still very popular and went through 31 printings from 1570 to 1612, with a total of approximately 8175 copies printed. It is estimated that there are currently approximately 275 loose copies of this map in circulation. This beautiful map was engraved by Frans Hogenberg who engraved many of the maps for the Theatrum. This example was obtained already framed and matted, so the reverse is not visible and the exact publication date not known, however, I believe this is the 1587 edition, of which 250 copies were printed. It lacks the "ghost monster" which appeared off the Arabian Peninsula until 1584 and does not show the defect in the title cartouche which appeared sometime between 1595 and 1598 due to a crack in the copperplate. Regardless of the exact publication date, the date of "1570" is clearly shown in the title cartouche. This map is beautifully period hand colored and in very good condition, as professionally framed and matted. Plate dimensions are 375 mm x 504 mm (14 3/4" x 19 13/16") and the framed dimensions are 537 mm x 645 mm (21 1/8" x 25 3/16") . Having acquired a small collection of antique maps at a very reasonable price from a private party, we can sell this fabulous map for far less than you will find it currently offered anywhere else, with most copies selling for between $1500 and $4000. Please search the internet for this map and confirm for yourself how good a deal it is. Sorry the photography isn’t the best, as the photos were taken in the frame under glass to avoid damaging the framing. Yellowing around the outside of the matting, none of it affecting the map.
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