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Waldseemuller/Fries: Tabula nova partis Africae

Map: AFR3972
Cartographer: Waldseemuller/Fries
Title: Tabula nova partis Africae
Date: 1541
Published: Vienne
Width: 17 inches / 44 cm
Height: 13 inches / 34 cm
Map ref: AFR3972
The second-earliest map of Southern Africa, predated only by Martin Waldseemuller's rare map of 1513. Laurent Fries published this slightly reduced version of Waldseemuller's map with added illustrated vignettes in his updated editions of Ptolemy's Geographia starting in 1522. The 1541 edition is distinguished by the woodblock title which reads "Tabula noua partis Africae".

In recognition of Vasco da Gama's successful rounding of the Cape of Good Hope, the King Manuel I of Portugal is shown triumphantly riding a dolphin into the Indian Ocean to claim the land for Christendom. The unknown interior of the continent is filled with imaginary lakes, mountain ranges, and creatures, as well as miniature depictions of three African kings. The source of the Nile is shown as the Mons Lune, the Mountains of the Moon.

Reference: [Karrow (R.W.): Mapmakers of the Sixteenth Century 28/41] [AFR3972]