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A Rare, Portolan-Style Chart of the East African Coast and the Indian Ocean

Africa/ Arabia/ Persia/ India. THEVENOT, M./ TEIXEIRA, J. [Paris, 1649/ 1664]
Untitled Chart. . 27 x 19 ¾ inches
Mended wear to a few folds with no loss, else a fine example


It is extremely important and its excellence and value are indicated that, more than a century after its compilation, the great cartographer d’Anville (as noted by the geographer Viscount de Santarem) utilized Teixeira substantially for his chart of 1761” (Norwich). The chart presents a summary of Portuguese cartographic knowledge of the nautical routes between the Cape of Good Hope, Arabia, and Goa – the center of Portuguese power in India and the chief link to trade with the Spice Islands. Also included are the entire coast lines of Arabia and Persia. The chart was published in Thevenot’s great compendium of voyages, Relations de divers Voyages, and was based on a 1649 portolan chart by the royal cosmographer of Portugal, Joao Teixeira, as is stated on the chart. Via Teixeira, Thevenot brought Portugal’s detailed knowledge of this commercially crucial area to France, much as Linschoten had done earlier for the Dutch. In addition to its rich coastal detail, the work includes inset details of Mombassa on the coast of Kenya, Mozambique Island along the coast of Mozambique, Beira in Sofala Province in Mozambique, and the island of Socotra, part of Yemen and located between the horn of Africa and Yemen. These were all important ports-of-call for fleets traveling from the Cape of Good Hope to India.

Norwich 305.

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