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M'Bansa or Sao Salvador, Congo/ Angola.

Dapper, Olfert. Bansa or S. Salvador capital of the Congo "'Bansa ofte de stadt Salvador. Hoofdstadt van het Rijk Congo. - Bansa ou Salvador capitale de Congo" Amsterdam Wolfgangh, Waesbergen, Boom. Someren en Goethals 1686
Copper engraved double page view of Bansa or S. Salvador, capital of the Congo now in Angola, from Olfert Dapper's "Description de l'Afrique," the first edition in French; black and white, verso blank.

The plate shows a view of the city of M'Banza-Congo / Sao Salvador in Angola, formerly in the Kingdom of Congo with boats in the foreground on the river Lelunda; key to both upper corners in Dutch & French, identifying significant landmarks.

"With a population of 30,000 plus. It sat on a cliff with river below a forested valley. The King's dwelling was described as a mile and half enclosure with walled pathways, courtyard, gardens, decorated huts, and palisades" [Coguery- Vidrovitch & Catherine 2005]
The city is now is the capital of Angola's northwestern Zaire Province. It is sometimes called Mongo a Kaila (mountain of division) because of legends recalling that the king created the clans of the kingdom and sent them out from there. Dark impression; light toning;ocassional spotting; old ink number to upper margin; chips to edges at lower corners.

Olfert Dapper (1639-1689)
was a Dutch physician and scholar devoted to historical and geographical studies.
He produced several finely illustrated volumes describing travels in Africa, Asia, Asia Minor, the Middle East, drawing upon the most reliable eye-witness accounts as well as his own library of travel books. His works were authoritative and very popular, and especially noteworthy for their excellent illustrations and maps.

First edition in French of Dapper's"Description de l'Afrique, contenant Les Noms, la Situation & les Confins de toutes ses Parties, leurs Rivières, leurs Villes & leurs Habitations, leurs Plantes & leurs Animaux ; les Moeurs, les Coûtumes, la Langue, les Richesses, la Religion & le Gouvernement de ses Peuples. Avec Des Cartes des Etats, des Provinces & des Villes, & des Figures en Taille-douce, qui représentent les habits & les principales Ceremonies des Habitans, les Plantes & les Animaux les moins connus. Traduite du Flamand"originally published in Dutch in 1668 as "Naukeurige Beschrijvingen der Afrikaensche gewesten" & "Naukeurige beschrijvinge der Afrikaensche Eylanden "


Dapper's Description of Africa:"covers the entire continent - the Islamic north, from Morocco to Egypt, Abyssinia, central and southern Africa, and Madagascar, Malta, the Canaries and other islands of the African coast" (Alastair Hamilton, Europe and the Arab World, page 26). Although he had never visited Africa, Dapper's book is still of considerable value, because he made use not only of published sources (especially De Marees), but also of manuscripts which have now been; lost he relied very heavily on records of the Dutch West India Company, especially a collection made by Samuel Bloomaerts, one of its officials.
His work became well-known, and is still a key text for Africanists.
It was translated into English by John Ogilby and published in 1670, when a German translation was also published. There was a second Dutch edition in 1676 and the first French translation was published ten years later.
Mendelssohn I, p.413. Cox I, p. 361; Gay 219. 245 by 352mm (9¾ by 13¾ inches).   ref: 2461  €120

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