Amsterdam: Pierre Mortier, 1693.
Map. Copper plate engraving with original hand coloring. Image measures 22.5 x 32.25".
This beautiful and rare map of the coast of Africa depicts the southeastern coast from St. Lucia north as far as River Mocambo and Mozambique. Oriented with north to the right, with text in both Latin and French, it covers the coast of the modern day nations of South Africa and Mozambique. Incredibly detailed along the coast, the sea chart labels several kingdoms, bays, rivers, capes and towns as well as coastal features, shoals and depth soundings. An inset in the top right details the region near Sofala and the Island of Inhancato in the Kingdom of Manica near Motapa. Shows beautiful inland detail with topography rendered in profile, including the fortress of Sofala.
This ancient region, part of the Kingdom of Monomotapa or Mutapa was first encountered by the Portuguese in the 16th century. The Europeans quickly became interested in the region, which was rich in gold, and soon became associated with the legends of King Solomon's Mines. Most of the gold mines however had been exhausted by the 1700's. This map is in good condition with large margins. Minor wear along the centerfold with some offsetting and foxing at places. Original pressmark is visible. Minor edge wear, including small rips, not affecting printed image. Two sheets joined at center.
Pierre Mortier (1661-1711) was a Dutch cartographer, engraver, and printseller who worked in Amsterdam. He used advanced Dutch printing methods to produce high quality editions of contemporary French maps by cartographers such as De L'Isle, Sanson, Jaillot, de Fer and De Wit. His greatest feat was the nautical atlas "Le Neptune Francois" or "Suite de Neptune Francois", considered to contain the most beautiful examples of cartographic art. Most of the charts from the atlas were based on earlier manuscripts by the Portuguese, who were the first explorers of the African coast. This chart is a beautiful example of one of those charts.