Rare first state of an early decorative map of Africa published by Carol Allard, based on De Wit's map of Africa c.1670.
This is a previously unrecorded first state of the map, which is not in Betz. The first state differs from later imprints as it has a stronger cartouche and minor changes to the decorative embellishments, and it lacks climate notations in the latitude gridlines on the left and right.
This map is similar to the De Wit's Africa in its later states and even uses some of De Wit's lettering within the surrounding gridline. However, while the map shows many fictitious cartographic details, particularly in the south, Allard updated the geography of the interior. This example depicts two Ptolemaic lakes in Central Africa and the source for the Blue Nile at Lake Tana in Abyssinia is well developed. These details suggest French influences (Duval, De Fer and others) in the development of this map.
As well as some minor differences in the body of the map, this first state features a more detailed cartouche and title image. The cartouche is attractively African in style and content. An elaborate vignette surrounding the title contains a woman as an allegorical representation of Africa, along with two children, an ostrich, a lion, and a crocodile. Behind the woman, are a palm tree, an elephant caravan and two pyramids; there are also palm trees and a camel behind the crocodile's tail. While later states have these figures, they must have been lightly etched in the first state, resulting in their obvious wear in the second and third states.
Carol Allard (1648-1706) was the son of Hugo Allard who founded a map publishing house in Amsterdam. Carol produced an Atlas Minor in 1694, an Atlas Major c. 1765 and a hundred-plate Orbis habitabilis oppida in 1698. The Allard's publishing trade was passed to the third generation, Carol's son Abraham, in 1706.
A rare first state of the map in fine old color, which is seminal for a collector of Africa.
Carel (Carol) Allard (Allardt) (1648–1709) was an engraver and publisher based in Amsterdam. Part of a prominent family of Dutch mapmakers, publishers, and print sellers, his father was engraver and publisher Hugo Allard (1627–1684), who left his business to Carel upon his death. Carel published anything in demand, including maps, topography, ethnography, newsprints, and restrikes of old plates of artistic prints, many of which likely came from his father’s stock. In 1706, Carel gave his copperplates to his son Abraham Allard, before going bankrupt.