Paris: Denys Thierry, 1683. unbound. Miniature map. Uncolored copper plate engraving. Image measures 5 3/4" x 4". Sheet measures 8 1/4" x 5 1/2"
This miniature map of northern Ethiopia is from the original French edition of Manesson-Mallet's "Description de L'Univers." The map shows the part of the Abyssinian Empire known as Nubia, which encompassed the region west of the Red Sea around the Nubia and Nile Rivers, below the Tropic of Cancer. Decorative title cartouche at upper right. The map is in good condition with minor aging. Text on verso with border. Allain Manesson-Mallet (1630-1706) advanced from his position of musket bearer under Louis XIV to eventually occupy the position of "maitre de mathematiques" to the French King. He was the author and engraver of "Description de L'Univers," a five-volume survey of the world that included maps of the ancient and modern world, star maps, illustrations of flora and fauna, and information on the customs, religion and government of the many nations included in the text. When it was published, the text was the largest and most comprehensive work of its type. Intended to entertain its readers, Mallet's "Description" was a time capsule of the 17th-century world that captured and displayed it in all of its splendor.