Coloured map of the African continent. Printed in Antwerp by Gillis van den Rade in 1575.

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Reference 12410



Antique map of Africa by Abraham Ortelius. From the 1575 Latin edition of Theatrum Orbis Terrarum by Abraham Ortelius. Second state of the plate, still the date 1570 is present in the cartouche which was removed between 1606 and 1612. The cartographical source of this map comes from Gastaldi (1505-1566) and his 8 sheet map of Africa (1564). Also parts of the Mercator Africa map of 1569 are present (Meurer p. 151). With a decorative title cartouche, a sea battle and three sea monsters.


CartographerAbraham Ortelius
TitleAfricae Tabula Nova
Publisher, YearGillis van den Rade, Antwerp, 1575
Plate Size37.1 x 49.6 cm (14.6 x 19.5 inches)
Sheet Size42.0 x 55.0 cm (16.5 x 21.7 inches)
ReferenceVan den Broecke, M.: Ortelius Atlas Maps, No. 8; Betz, R. & P., The Mapping of Africa, No. 12.2; Van der Krogt, P.: Koeman's Atlantes Neerlandici, 8600:31; Norwich, O.I.: Maps of Africa, No. 10.


Small tears in lower margin backed. Very good condition.


Abraham Ortelius was born 1527 in Antwerp. He studied mathematics, Greek and Latin and travelled a lot across Europe. He established a business in dealing with books and drawing maps. His first remarkable map was a 8 sheet world map in the year 1564, but only three copies have survived. In 1570 he issued the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, the first modern Atlas with uniformly sized maps in a systematic collection. The term Atlas was not used until Mercator introduced it 20 years later. Most of the maps in Theatrum have been engraved by Frans Hogenberg. At the time of publication, the atlas was the most expensive book ever printed. Nevertheless it was a big success and around 7000 copies have been printed until 1612 in many editions and six different languages. Beside the Theatrum, Ortelius compiled a series of historical maps and published it in the Parergon Theatri which was bound with the Theatrum from 1579 onwards or published separately.

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Abraham Ortelius: Africae Tabula Nova.
Coloured map of the African continent. Printed in Antwerp by Gillis van den Rade in 1575.

Africa Continent - Ortelius, Abraham - Africae Tabula Nova

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