Blaeu's folio carte-a-figure map of Africa
By BLAEU, Willem Janszoon , 1631

Africae nova descriptio.

Africa Continent of Africa
  • Author: BLAEU, Willem Janszoon
  • Publication place: Amsterdam
  • Publisher: G. Blaeu
  • Publication date: 1621- 1630
  • Physical description: Double-page engraved map, no text to verso.
  • Inventory reference: 12243


A fine example of Blaeu’s folio carte-a-figure map of Africa.

The map is a reduction of Blaeu’s wall map of 1608, with the coastal cartography based on Portuguese sources. A decorative border surrounds three sides: above are nine birds-eye’ views of the principal European cities including Tunis, Algiers, Alexandria, and Tangiers; flanking the map are ten costumed figures representing the national dress of various African inhabitants.

This is the third state with the name changed in the cartouche from ‘Guil: Janssonio’ to ‘Guiljelmo Blaeu’, and no text on the verso. The map would be incorporated into Blaeu’s first atlas the ‘Appendix’ in 1630. Later states with text on the verso would appear in all Blaeu’s subsequent atlases.


  1. MCN IV 36.2.