This is a 1797 Giovanni Maria Cassini map of West Africa. The map depicts the region from the Cape Verde Islands to the Bight of Bonny (Bight of Biafra) and the Bight of Bonny Islands and from the Tropic of Cancer to the modern-day island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe. As is the case with many 18th and 19th century maps of Africa, coastal features are illustrated in detail and numerous coastal settlements are labeled. Coastal rivers are also noted. The interior of Africa, however, is a vast empty space, reflecting the lack of knowledge about the geography of the continent's interior. Rivers are charted and some settlements are labeled, including what is most likely Timbuktu (Tombuto). Tribal names are referenced, but no borders for their territories are provided.
Publication HistoryThis map was created by Giovanni Maria Cassini and published in 1797.
Giovanni Maria Cassini (1745 - 1824) was a Rome based Italian mathematician, globe maker, geographer, engraver, and cartographer active in the later part of the 18th and early 19th century. He was a disciple of Giovanni Battista Piranesi. He invented new form of projection used for an atlas of the kingdom of Naples issued by Giovanni Antonio Rizzi Zannoni. Cassini is best known as a globe maker and is considered the last of the great 18th century globe makers. His maps are distinctive for their fine engraving, dark strong impressions, and elaborate distinctive cartouche work. Unlike many map and atlas publishers of the period, Cassini did all of his own engraving work - this impregnating each map with his unmistakable style. Though he produced a significant corpus of well-regarded work, little is known of Cassini's personal life. G. M. Cassini is often mistakenly associated with the well-known French cartographic family of the same name, however, they are not related.
Good. Even overall toning. Light wear along original centerfold. Some soiling. Blank on verso.