Aethiopia Superior vel interior vulgo Abissinorum sive Presbiteri Joannnis Imperium.. 23in x 18in (585mm x 475mm).This original hand coloured copper-plate engraved antique map of Central and NE Africa - the mythical land of Emperor Prestor John - was published in the 1645 Latin Edition of edition of Joan Blaeus Atlas Novus. Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable Paper color : - off white Age of map color: - Original Colors used: - Blue, pink, red, green, yellow General color appearance: - Authentic Paper size: - 23in x 18in (585mm x 475mm) Plate size: - 19 1/2in x 15 1/4in (495mm x 390mm) Margins: - Min 1in (25mm). Margins: - None Plate area: - None Verso: - None.
Background: Rumours of the mythical Emperor Prestor John began in Europe around 1150AD, that somewhere in Asia there was a powerful Christian Emperor named Presbyter Johannes (with the court title of Gurkhan), who had founded the kingdom of Kara Khitai. He had broken the power of the Musselman in his own domain after a fierce and bloody fight. The mysterious Priest-King became a symbol of hope in the Christian world beset by Mongol hordes.
Pope Alexander III resolved to make contact with Presbyter John, and his first step was to address a letter to him (dated 27th September 1177). The Pope\'s physician was dispatched to deliver the letter in person.Pope Innocent IV was even more determined than his predecessor, and decided to convert the Barbarians instead of conquer them. Dominican and Franciscan missionaries as well as civil ambassadors of peace plodded back and forth between the Pope, the King of France and the Mogul Khan. These travelers soon learned that His Highness Presbyter Johannes and the Christian kingdom in deepest Asia were popular myths. But the popular fancy was not easily dispelled, and instead of allowing the bubble to be punctured, the people merely transferred the kingdom of Presbyter John to Africa - especially Abyssinia.
No-one knew very much about Abyssinia. A few die hards like John de Plano Carpini and Marco Polo persisted in the belief that Presbyter John still reigned in his splendor deep in the heart of the Orient.
On the larger map in Higdens Polychronicon the empire of Presbyter John was located in the lower Scythia within the limits of Europe, but the map of Marino Sanuto it was placed in further India. It was moved again to Central Asia and ended up in Abyssinia. The legend persisted, however, and four hundred years after Pope Alexander III wrote his letter to Presbyter Johannes, Abraham Ortelius, a Dutch map publisher issued a separate map titled Presbyteri Johannis Siv Abissinorum Iperii Descripto.At this propitious time in the history of the Northern Provinces, Willem Janszoon Blaeu, who was born at Alkmaar in 1571 and trained in astronomy and the sciences by Tycho Brahe, the celebrated Danish astronomer, founded a business in Amsterdam in 1599 as a globe and instrument maker. It was not long before the business expanded, publishing maps, topographical works and books of sea charts as well as constructing globes. His most notable early work was a map of Holland (1604), a fine World Map (1605-06) and Het Licht der Zeevaerdt (The Light of Navigation), a marine atlas, which went through many editions in different languages and under a variety of titles.
At the same time Blaeu was planning a major atlas intended to include the most up-to-date maps of the whole of the known world but progress on so vast a project was slow and not until he bought between 30 and 40 plates of the Mercator Atlas from Jodocus Hondius II to add to his own collection was he able to publish, in 1630, a 60-map volume with the title Atlantis Appendix. It was another five years before the first two volumes of his planned world atlas, Atlas Novus or the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum were issued. About this time he was appointed Hydrographer to the East India Company.
In 1638 Blaeu died and the business passed into the hands of his sons, Joan and Cornelis, who continued and expanded their father\\\'s ambitious plans. After the death of Cornelis, Joan directed the work alone and the whole series of 6 volumes was eventually completed about 1655. As soon as it was finished he began the preparation of the even larger work, the Atlas Major, which reached publication in 1662 in II volumes (later editions in 9-12 volumes) and contained nearly 6oo double-page maps and 3,000 pages of text. This was, and indeed remains, the most magnificent work of its kind ever produced; perhaps its geographical content was not as up-to-date or as accurate as its author could have wished, but any deficiencies in that direction were more than compensated for by the fine engraving and colouring, the elaborate cartouches and pictorial and heraldic detail and especially the splendid calligraphy.
In 1672 a disastrous fire destroyed Blaeu\\\'s printing house in the Gravenstraat and a year afterwards Joan Blaeu died. The firm\\\'s surviving stocks of plates and maps were gradually dispersed, some of the plates being bought by F. De Wit and Schenk and Valck, before final closure in about 1695. It ought to be mentioned here that there is often confusion between the elder Blaeu and his rival Jan Jansson (Johannes Janssonius).Up to about 1619 Blaeu often signed his works Guilielmus Janssonius or Willems Jans Zoon but after that time he seems to have decided on Guilielmus or G. Please note all items auctioned are genuine, we do not sell reproductions. A Certificate of Authenticity (COA) can be issued on request. What is an Antique Map. The word Antique in the traditional sense refers to an item that is more than a hundred years old. The majority of antique maps for sale today come from books or atlases and have survived due to the protection offered by the hardback covers. The first thing to determine when staring a collection or purchasing an item, is what is important to you. Most collectors prefer to build their collections around a theme. You may decide to collect maps from one region or country, charting its development through time. Similarly you could collect maps of one particular period in time, by type i. Sea or celestial charts or by cartographer. The collector might also want to consider the theme of cartographical misconceptions such as California as an island or Australia as Terra Australis or the Great Southern Land. The subject is so wide that any would-be-collector has almost endless possibilities to find his own little niche within the field, and thereby build a rewarding collection. Starting a collection & pricing. Pricing is based on a number of different factors, the most important of which is regional. In any series of maps the most valuable are usually the World Map and the America/North America. The World because it is usually the most decorative and America because it has the strongest regional market.
Other factors that come into play re: price is rarity, age, size, historical importance, decorative value (colour) and overall condition and quality of paper it is printed on. As specialised dealers, we frequently work with first time map buyers who are just starting their collection. Classical Images was founded 1998 and has built an excellent reputation for supplying high quality original antiquarian maps, historical atlases, antique books and prints.We carry an extensive inventory of antiquarian collectibles from the 15th to 19th century. Our collection typically includes rare books and decorative antique maps and prints by renowned cartographers, authors and engravers. Specific items not listed may be sourced on request.
Classical Images adheres to the Codes of Ethics outlined by the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA). We are a primarily an online based enterprise, however our inventory may be viewed by appointment. This item is in the category "Antiques\Maps, Atlases & Globes\Africa Maps". The seller is "searching01" and is located in this country: AU.