A New Map of the North Part of Antient Africa


An unusual map of North Africa dedicated to the former pupil of the cartographer.

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The interesting orientation of this two part map of North Africa is the first thing most audiences will notice. The left side of the sheet contains a profile of the area along the Mediterranean Sea between the Strait of Gibraltar to the Roman province Cyrenaica in modern day Libya. The right side of the sheet is oriented with north at the top and shows ancient Egypt and the Red Sea, including competing theories on the source of the Nile river.

Other historic locations, such as the site of Carthage, the Egyptian Labyrinth and the island of Meroe, are also included within the image. Decorative elements are present in the form of numerous animals in the interior of the continent and an elaborate title cartouche. The latter features two figures – one standing proud in tattered clothing and another deliberately drawn to look like a fool (perhaps a stereotypical reference to the “civilized” nature of Africa?) – as well as the coat of arms of the Duke of Gloucester.

The map was issued by Edward Wells in A new sett of maps both of antient and present geography. This atlas contained 41 double page maps, most of which were issued in two forms to compare the ancient and present geography of various regions across the globe. The atlas was dedicated to William, Duke of Gloucester, a former pupil of Well’s at Oxford who died in 1700 at the age of eleven.

Map Details

Publication Date: c. 1710

Author: Edward Wells

Sheet Width (in): 21.00

Sheet Height (in): 15.70

Condition: A-

Condition Description: Moderate wear to the outer margins, including several spots where the sheet has chipped or is missing. Only one small area at the top of the sheet where the border is affected. A few small stains within the image and 2" of minimal separation along the centerfold at the bottom of the sheet. The map has been professionally washed and mounted on linen, giving a bright, clean look.


1 in stock