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Description:This large, exquisitely hand coloured, original antique 1st edition map of Africa by Alexis Hubert Jaillot - after Nicolas Sanson - was engraved in 1674 - the date is engraved in the scale cartouche. This is a beautifully presented map, fantastic colour on sturdy & heavy paper with a deep clear impression, signifying a very early pressing. This 1st edition map is not to be confused with the later smaller more common version of the map published by A.H. Jaillot. There are 5 editions of this map published in 1674, 1685, 1690, 1692 & 1695.
Background: Being part of the Mediterranean world, the northern coasts of the African continent as far as the Straits of Gibraltar and even round to the area of the Fortunate Isles (the Canaries) were reasonably well known and quite accurately mapped from ancient times. In particular, Egypt and the Nile Valley were well defined and the Nile itself was, of course, one of the rivers separating the continents in medieval T-O maps. Through Arab traders the shape of the east coast, down the Red Sea as far as the equator, was also known but detail shown in the interior faded into deserts with occasional mountain ranges and mythical rivers. The southern part of the continent, in the Ptolemaic tradition, was assumed to curve to the east to form a land-locked Indian Ocean. The voyages of the Portuguese, organized by Henry the Navigator in the fifteenth century, completely changed the picture and by the end of the century Vasco da Gama had rounded the Cape enabling cartographers to draw a quite presentable coastal outline of the whole continent, even if the interior was to remain largely unknown for the next two or three centuries.
After Nicolas Sanson, Hubert Jaillot and Pierre Duval were the most important French cartographers of the seventeenth centuries. Jaillot, originally a sculptor, became interested in geography after his marriage to the daughter of Nicolas Berey (1606-65), a famous map colourist, and went into partnership in Paris with Sanson's sons. There, from about 1669, he undertook the re-engraving, enlarging and re-publishing of the Sanson maps in sheet form and in atlases, sparing no effort to fill the gap in the map trade left by the destruction of Blaeu's printing establishment in Amsterdam in 1672. Many of his maps were printed in Amsterdam (by Pierre Mortier) as well as in Paris. One of his most important works was a magnificent sea atlas, Le Neptune François, published in 1693 and compiled in co-operation with J D Cassini. This was re-published shortly afterwards by Pierre Mortier in Amsterdam with French, Dutch and English texts, the charts having been re-engraved. Eventually, after half a century, most of the plates were used again as the basis for a revised issue published by J N Bellin in 1753.(Ref: Tooley; M&B)
General Description: Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable Paper color: - off white Age of map color: - Original Colors used: - Yellow, green, red, orange. General color appearance: - Authentic and fresh Paper size: - 36in x 24 1/2in (915mm x 620mm) Plate size: - 35in x 23in (890mm x 585mm) Margins: - Min 1/2in (25mm)
Imperfections: Margins: - Light age toning in margins, bottom margin corners cropped Plate area: - Light age toning & creasing along centerfold Verso: - Light age toning & creasing along centerfold