Jon Berg Fine Art
Antique original 1721 atlas map of "Turky, Arabia and Persia" by Georges de l'Isle and John Senex

Antique original 1721 atlas map of "Turky, Arabia and Persia" by Georges de l'Isle and John Senex


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Directory: Traditional Collectibles: Ephemera: Maps: Pre 1800: Item # 1421967

Please refer to our stock # JB05532 when inquiring.
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An original copper plate engraved map, with hand coloring of country outlines, and also in the cartouche, titled there, at lower left, "A Map of Turky, Arabia and Persia", the first edition by Georges de l'Isle in 1701, this being the somewhat later revised 1721 edition by noted cartographer of the day John Senex (1678-ca. 1740). This map, 19" by 23" (22 1/2" by 26 1/2" as framed) was considered to be the first modern map of the Arabian Peninsula before the middle of the 18th century. The geography shown includes Spain at the upper left to Turkestan at the upper right, and Abyssinia (today's Ethiopia) at lower center. A Greek and a Turk, both very picturesque, stand in the cartouche. The now 300 year old map shows its age. At some point it was evidently exposed to moisture, the consequence of which is a lot of puckering and rippling, as seen, not to mention some mold spots at top edge and especially at lower right. There is also an old tear at left above the cartouche. The pricing takes into account these flaws. Hanging on a wall in the right spot, it will be a fine antique accent piece; it is possible that removing it from frame and brushing the map with a camel's hair brush or similar will remove some of the moldy spots, or minimize them. Close up study of the map reveals charmingly picturesque, antiquated observations by these early period travelers, such as "These people have a peculiar language and live continually in the deserts", and "Mountains where it said are found Emeralds", and "Wells of bad water" (also, "Wells of good water"); "In these Deserts are to be seen Ruins of many ancient Citys"; and "Springs of Bitumen" (tar, petroleum). Try to imagine the deserts of the Sahara and Arabian Peninsula in the late 1600's or early 1700's, and the challenges that early travelers would have encountered, in the absence of safe food and water, jets, cars, electricity, and modern roads. It is the stuff of fantasy, which this old map evokes.