Africae, described, the Manners of their Habits and buildinge: Newly done into English I.S. and published at the charges of G. Humble Ano 1626 – Speed, John

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First state. From Speed’s A Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World published by George Humble, London, 1627. -No scale bar. -Latitude coordinates along left and right sides of map. -Longitude coordinates along Equatorial Line. -North at the top; no compass rose. -Title cartouche at the top right. -There are two sea monsters and four sailing ships along with seven flying fish above the Equator in the Atlantic Ocean and one sea monster and one sailing ship on the Indian Ocean. Various animals are within the map of the continent. -Each side border contains five costumed figures of Africans, and the top panel contains eight town views. – English text to the verso. Text begins with a capital letter ‘A’ set within a floral box with a crown and rose. Last line of penultimate paragraph reads ‘belonging to Africa’. This confirms that this map is from the 1627 edition of Speed’s “A Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World.’ Speed’s descriptive and often amusing text on the verso brings the map to life. An attractive and decorative map, its side borders providing a slide-show of African images. One shows a native of the Cape eating animal entrails and the top border plans of the principal towns. Edward Lear comes to mind when reading Speed’s text on the verso: “Psilli are an ancient but foolish Nation (it seemes) in Africa, as they marched towards the South, to revenge themselves upon the windes for drying up their Rivers, were overwhelmed with sand, and so dyed in their graves.” He cites Pliny regarding the existence of the variety of wild creatures in this territory – “Africea now every yeare produceth some strange creature before not heard off peradventure not extant[…] for want of water, creatures of all kindes at some times of the yeare gather to those few rivers that are, to quench their thirst: And the Males promiscuously inforcing the Females of every species which comes next him, produceth this varietie of forms.” Note A fine hand coloured copper plate engraving 39.5 x 51.5cm (measured within the plate mark), 40.2 x 52.2cm (sheet size). Engraved by Abraham Goos. Marginal reinforcement to extremes of centrefold. Lower extreme of centrefold and right border shows ghosting of earlier tape to verso. Repair to pinhole to left just inside the platemark, barely visible. Top right corner a faint thumb-sized brown discolouration. Top left vignette figure has an uneven line of thinning to the paper (see image detail). Some slight uneven toning. Other than minor restoration this map remains in good original state. Bibliography Richard L. Betz, The Mapping of Africa, Hes and De Graaf, 2007 Ronald Tooley, Collectors Guide to the Maps of Africas, Carta Press, 1969

Publisher: George Humble
Date Published: 1626

First Edition: Yes

Condition: Very good

Additional information

Weight 2000 g