Amsterdam: Willem Blaeu.
Map. Copper plate engraving with hand coloring. Decorative title cartouche. Published in Amsterdam, 1634. Image measures 15 1/4" x 19 3/4". Sheet measures 20 3/4 x 24 7/8".
Beautiful 17th century map of west Africa extending from Sierra Leone to present-day Gabon. The map is extensively illustrated with wildlife, including elephants, monkeys, lions, cheetah, and crocodiles. Title cartouche features two figures holding jewels, a spear, and a parrot, surrounded by more monkeys. In the lower right there is an illustration of two winged putti holding a large ivory tusk, and several merchant ships are depicted in the gulf.
Willem Blaeu (1571-1638) was a prolific Dutch mapmaker who started one of the most famous map publishing firms of the 17th century. It was at this time that the Dutch controlled the map trade, and their ornate and beautiful maps had immense popularity. Blaeu was instrumental in driving this dominance in his lifetime, and this legacy was continued by his sons. Full original margins. Minor aging to edges, small abrasion lower center, a few scattered chips and tears.