Nicolosi's Landmark Map of Africa
Fine example of the first state of Nicolosi's important four sheet map of Africa, which frequently appears with glue stains at the folds.
Following the tradition of Italian mapmakers of the 16th century, such as Ramusio and Bertelli, Nicolosi oriented his map with Southern Africa aligned at the top. The main source for this map appears to be Nicolas Sanson's map of Africa of 1650. However, Nicolosi's map of Africa is more conservative than Sanson's map, with relatively limited nomenclature, especially in the first state.
Nicolosi does show a lake in Abyssinia which may be a pre-cursor to Lake Tana, the source for the Blue Nile River, likely from the Portuguese travel accounts. What is unusual is that Nicolosi does not generally fill the map with placenames and geographic features based on other various travel accounts on Africa and from the prevailing information of his time. This information was available to him, yet he chose to not include it on his map. More details and placenames are added to the second state of this map, albeit cautiously so.
Giovanni Battista Nicolosi (1610-1670) was a priest and cartographer for the Vatican's Propaganda Fide in Rome. In 1652, motivated by Sanson's new work, the Propoganda Fide of Rome commissioned Nicolosi to produce an atlas, which would become Nicolosi's Dell' Hercole e Studio Geografico, published in 1660 and 1671. The 4 sheet maps of the continents have become highly sought after by collectors, incorporating Nicolosi's meticulous work and novel presentation style.