Africa Performed by the Sr. D’Anville under the Patronage of the Duke of Orleans


Four sheet map of Africa combined and mounted onto linen.

1 in stock

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The mystery and intrigue evoked by the continent of Africa during the 18th century is evident on this magnificent four sheet wall map. The image was drawn by Solomon Bolton, though it was essentially an English translation of an earlier map created by the renowned French cartographer Jean-Baptiste Bourguignon d’Anville.

Large blank areas are punctuated by regions (primarily the coasts) and kingdoms that are mapped in some detail – presumably after filtering through the reports of ship captains, missionaries, merchants, and colonial officials. Fascinating annotations provide a wealth of contemporary information ranging from speculation on historical sources to the customs of local tribes.

Several items within the image are of particular interest in the history of African cartography. The speculative course of the Niger River is explained in some detail, and while correctly presumed to be entirely distinct from the Senegal, it does not ‘fall into some Lakes that communicate with the River Nile.’ Nearby are Ptolemy’s Mountains of the Moon and Bolton’s accompanying commentary about the possible source of the Nile. Lake Malawi can be seen in an embryonic form in the south, with a note speculating on its size. The Biblical Kingdom of Ophir ‘with great reason’ is also supposed to be in the south, not far from the ‘slightly known’ Admiralty Islands.

The marvelous image was drawn by Solomon Bolton and engraved by Emanuel Bowen. It was published in Malacy Postlethwayt’s The Universal Dictionary of Trade and Commerce in London in 1755.

Map Details

Publication Date: 1755

Author: Solomon Bolton

Sheet Width (in): 39.20

Sheet Height (in): 40.60

Condition: A-

Condition Description: Four sheets professionally joined and mounted on linen. Faint offsetting visible in the lower left, but overall a clean sheet with crisp impression.


1 in stock