Offered for sale by Prior Books.. Original Abraham Ortelius Map of Africa: The Kingdom of Prester John.[Central and northeastern Africa] Presbiteri Iohannis, Sive, Abissinorum Imperii Descriptio. Published: Antwerp [1579 or a little later]. Copper engraved map, coloured by hand, central fold, Latin text on verso. Sheet size: 16 1/4" x 21 1/8" (413mm x 537mm). Condition: Just some neat reinforcing to slight central fold parting otherwise very good. An highly significant map, one of the cornerstone maps of Africa. Shows the supposed central African kingdom of the Christian priest-king Prester John.
Who, according to legend, stood as the main defence against the forces of barbarism. The origin of the Nile is shown as being the mythical twin lakes of Zaire and Zaflan, the source of which as the Mountains of the Moon. The decorative elements include two pairs of large elephants, sea monsters and a dhow.
Two large strapworks contain the title and the text of the legend. Priest John is a mythical king with a long cartographical history, who was supposed to provide a stronghold against the Barbarians, and to be an ally for crusaders.
His kingdom was originally surmised to have been located in India (for instance by Waldseemüller in 1507), but was later placed in Africa (Gemma Frisius-Ptolemy 1522). The item "Original Abraham Ortelius Map of Africa The Kingdom of Prester John" is in sale since Monday, September 23, 2019. This item is in the category "Antiques\Maps, Atlases & Globes\Africa Maps". The seller is "prior-books" and is located in Cheltenham. This item can be shipped to United Kingdom.