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Description:This fine original copper-plate engraved antique print was engraved by Jakob van Schley and was published in Antoine François Prevosts 15 volumes of Histoire Generale des Voyages written by Prevost & other authors between 1746-1790.In Africa the chief centre of serpent worship was Dahomey, but the cult of the python seems to have been of exotic origin, dating back to the first quarter of the 17th century. By the conquest of Whydah the Dahomeyans were brought in contact with a people of serpent worshippers, and ended by adopting from them the beliefs which they at first despised. At Whydah, the chief centre, there is a serpent temple, tenanted by some fifty snakes. Every python of the danh-gbi kind must be treated with respect, and death is the penalty for killing one, even by accident. Danh-gbi has numerous wives, who until 1857 took part in a public procession from which the profane crowd was excluded; a python was carried round the town in a hammock, perhaps as a ceremony for the expulsion of evils. The rainbow-god of the Ashanti was also conceived to have the form of a snake. His messenger was said to be a small variety of boa, but only certain individuals, not the whole species, were sacred. In many parts of Africa the serpent is looked upon as the incarnation of deceased relatives. Among the Amazulu, as among the Betsileo of Madagascar, certain species are assigned as the abode of certain classes. The Maasai, on the other hand, regard each species as the habitat of a particular family of the tribe.The Kingdom of Dahomey was an African kingdom (located in the area of the present-day country of Benin) that existed from about 1600 until 1894, when the last king, Béhanzin, was defeated by the French, and the country was annexed into the French colonial empire. Dahomey developed on the Abomey Plateau amongst the Fon people in the early 17th century and became a regional power in the 18th century by conquering key cities on the Atlantic coast.For much of the 18th and 19th centuries, the Kingdom of Dahomey was a key regional state, eventually ending tributary status to the Oyo Empire. The Kingdom of Dahomey was an important regional power that had an organized domestic economy built on conquest and slave labor, significant international trade with European powers, a centralized administration, taxation systems, and an organized military. Notable in the kingdom were significant artwork, an all-female military unit known as the Dahomey Amazons, and the elaborate religious practices of Vodun with the large festival of the Annual Customs of Dahomey.
General Definitions:Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stablePaper color : - off whiteAge of map color: -Colors used: -General color appearance: -Paper size: - 14in x 10in (365mm x 250mm)Plate size: - 12in x 8in (305mm x 205mm)Margins: - Min 1/2in (12mm)
Imperfections:Margins: - NonePlate area: - NoneVerso: - None
Background: One of Antoine Francois Prevosts monumental undertakings was his history of exploration & discovery in 15 volumes titledHistoire Générale des Voyages written between 1746-1759 and was extended to 20 volumes after his death by various authors.The 20 volumes cover the early explorations & discoveries on 3 continents: Africa (v. 1-5), Asia (v. 5-11), and America (v. 12-15) with material on the finding of the French, English, Dutch, and Portugese.A number of notable cartographers and engravers contributed to the copper plate maps and views to the 20 volumes including Nicolas Bellin, Jan Schley, Chedel, Franc Aveline, Fessard, and many others.The African volumes cover primarily coastal countries of West, Southern, and Eastern Africa, plus the Congo, Madagascar, Arabia and the Persian Gulf areas.The Asian volumes cover China, Korea, Tibet, Japan, Philippines, and countries bordering the Indian Ocean.Volume 11 includes Australia and Antarctica.Volumes 12-15 cover voyages and discoveries in America, including the East Indies, South, Central and North America.Volumes 16-20 include supplement volumes & tables along with continuation of voyages and discoveries in Russia, Northern Europe, America, Asia & Australia.Jakob van der Schley aka Jakob van Schley (1715 - 1779) was a Dutch draughtsman and engraver. He studied under Bernard Picart (1673-1733) whose style he subsequently copied. His main interests were engraving portraits and producing illustrations for \"La Vie de Marianne\" by Pierre Carlet de Chamblain de Marivaux (1688-1763) published in The Hague between 1735 and 1747.He also engraved the frontispieces for a 15-volume edition of the complete works of Pierre de Brantôme (1540-1614), \"Oeuvres du seigneur de Brantôme\", published in The Hague in 1740.He is also responsible for most of the plates in the Hague edition of Prévost\'s Histoire générale des voyages. (Ref: Tooley; M&B)