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Pierre Mortier: Carte Particuliere des Costes de l'Afrique qui comprend le Pays de Cafres &c.

Map: AFR6073
Cartographer: Pierre Mortier
Title: Carte Particuliere des Costes de l'Afrique qui comprend le Pays de Cafres &c.
Date: 1708
Published: Amsterdam
Width: 33 inches / 84 cm
Height: 23 inches / 59 cm
Map ref: AFR6073
Magnificent sea chart of part of the coast of Mozambique showing the important Portuguese colonial forts of Sofala and Quelimane. A large inset map in the upper-right corner shows the Portuguese settlement at Sofala in greater detail. This map is based on Portuguese surveys ordered by the King of Portugal and shows the limited extent of European knowledge about this region at the start of the 18th century. An attempt has been made to delineate the lands of the various tribes and kingdoms, though these are only vaguely outlined. The map is embellished with rhumb lines, two handsome compass roses, and fabulous original hand-colour.

The “Neptune Francois” was first issued simultaneously in Paris and Amsterdam by Hubert Jaillot and Pierre Mortier respectively in 1693. The project was highly successful and Mortier developed the Atlas by adding two more sections or volumes to it. The first, Vol II was also issued in 1693 and consisted of a set of charts provided by the noted Dutch artist Romeyn de Hooghe. Collectively these are known as the “ Cartes Marines a l’Usage des Armees du Roy de Grande Bretagne” and were originally drawn for William III of Great Britain. De Hooghe was primarily an artist and his charts bear a distinctive pictorial aspect. They have become renowned for their aesthetics, being cited as the most beautiful set of charts ever published. Volume III added in 1700, entitled “Suite de Neptune” concentrated on charts outside of French territory, including maps of the New World, the West Indies, South East Asia and the Indian Ocean among others.

Mortier’s edition was a prestige work. Later scholars have found that his book was the most expensive sea atlas produced in Amsterdam up to that time. On the rare occasions that an example of one of the maps in full original colour can be obtained, it is easily perceived why this work is cited as one of the finest and most spectacular atlases ever produced.

Magnificent original hand colour. [AFR6073] (BC)
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