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A Scarce, Attractive English Map of West Africa

Africa/ Slave Trade. . BLOME, R./ SANSON, N. [London, 1682]
Africa or Libia Ulteriour Where are the Countries of Saara Desert the Countrie of Negroes and Guine with the Circumjacent Countries, and Kingdoms Designed by Monsieur Sanson Geographer to the French King and Rendered into English by Richard Blome... 11 ¼ x 15 ¾ inches.
Fine hand color; excellent condition.


One of the first, possibly the first overall, maps of western Africa both engraved and published in England. A very attractive example with a dark impression. The map is after Sanson, whose authority as a geographer was considered beyond question at the time.
The map is dedicated to the Governors of “The Hono&bl Company of Royall Adventurers of England tradeing into Affrica,” (the Royal African Company) and focuses on the company’s sphere of operation. The company (led by James, Duke of York and brother to Charles II) had in 1660 been granted a monopoly over English trade in West Africa. It was initially intended to exploit gold fields along the Gambia river, but by the time this map was printed, the RAC was transporting some 5000 slaves across the Atlantic each year.

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