Old Map of Africa: &
Old Map of Africa: &
Old Map of Africa: &
Old Map of Africa: &

Old Map of Africa: 'Africae Accurata Tabula' by Visscher, 1690: Cairo, Timbuktu, Mombasa, Luanda, Cape Town

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    The Unique Maps Co. has state of the art production facilities in North Carolina and Michigan, and specialist large format facilities in New Jersey and California. Your map will be printed, framed and personalised in the US.

    Making and dispatching maps locally keeps delivery times down (usually 2-3 days) and means your map should always arrive in perfect condition.

    I also have production hubs in 21 countries around the world, which means you can buy this map as a gift for someone and I will make and deliver the map locally. They won't have to pay any tax or import duty.

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    Your map should be delivered in 3 to 4 working days with free delivery.

    Express delivery is available at checkout which can reduce the delivery time to 1 to 2 days.

    This means your map will arrive in time for Christmas, even if you personalise your map or customise the frame.

    If you need your order to arrive by a certain date, contact me and we can discuss your options.

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    Premium hardwood frames

    For a limited time, I am trialling premium hardwood frames for framed maps made in the United States.

    These frames are either made from a beautiful light oak, or a very solid-feeling ash with a nice grain.

    If you'd like an oak frame, select 'pick frame colour' and then 'natural wood'.

    If you do not pick a frame colour, you will receive my black ash frame.

    In a few weeks, you will have to pay an extra fee for a premium frame.

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Need a custom size?

Custom map sizes are available

At The Unique Maps Co., every order is processed and made by hand. There is no mass production and every map is custom made to order.

This means that I can tailor your map so that it perfectly fits a space on your wall, or a frame that you already own.

To order a custom sized map, select the size closest to what you need, and then select 'customise the size?' from the options below.

Custom sizing is free for large maps over 100cm or 40 inches, but for smaller maps there will be an additional small fee.


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Personalise your map to make it truly unique (+$45). I will seamlessly add a message, place, or illustration. See some amazing examples.
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Embark on a historical journey with the 'Africae Accurata Tabula', an old map of Africa meticulously crafted by Nicolaes Visscher II in 1690. The title, when translated to English, reveals the map's purpose: to provide an 'Accurate Map of Africa'. Visscher, a descendant of the illustrious Dutch Golden Age of cartography, has intricately depicted the geographical and political landscapes of the era. This map is more than just a topographical representation; it's a testament to the cartographical prowess of the 17th century, and a window into the past.

The 'Africae Accurata Tabula' encompasses the entirety of the African continent, along with southern Europe, the Arabian Peninsula, Madagascar, and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. This broad coverage underscores the ambitious scope of cartography during Visscher's time. Each region—North Africa, West Africa, East Africa, Central Africa, and Southern Africa—is portrayed with remarkable precision, reflecting the mapmaker's commitment to accuracy and detail.

This map is a treasure trove of historical and geographical information. It illustrates political boundaries, cities, towns, waterways, canals, and landmarks that were significant in the late 17th century. The map also features a diverse array of wildlife and mountains, further enhancing its aesthetic appeal. The hand-colored outlines and engraved details add an artistic touch to the scientific accuracy, while decorative cartouches and a compass rose add to the map's historical charm.

The 'Africae Accurata Tabula' is more than just a map—it's a historical artifact, a testament to the artistry and knowledge of its creator, and a fascinating exploration of a bygone era. This map offers a unique perspective on the world as it was understood over three centuries ago. Whether you're a history buff, a cartography enthusiast, or simply someone who appreciates the intersection of art and science, this map is a captivating addition to any collection.

Some of the significant locations shown on this map:

North Africa: 1. Cairo, Egypt - Known as Al-Qāhirah, it was the seat of the Mamluk Sultanate and a significant center of trade and culture. 2. Algiers, Algeria - Known as Al-Jazā’ir, it was the capital of the Regency of Algiers, a major center of the Barbary Pirates. 3. Tunis, Tunisia - The capital of the Hafsid Sultanate, it was a major center of trade and learning in the Mediterranean. 4. Tripoli, Libya - Known as Ṭarābulus, it was an important trade and administrative center under Ottoman rule. 5. Marrakesh, Morocco - Known as Marrākish, it was a major imperial city of Morocco.

West Africa: 1. Timbuktu, Mali - An intellectual and spiritual capital and a center for the propagation of Islam throughout Africa in the 15th and 16th centuries. 2. Dakar, Senegal - Known as Ndakaaru, it was an important city in the Kingdom of Cayor. 3. Kumasi, Ghana - The capital of the Ashanti Empire, known for its gold and ivory trade. 4. Kano, Nigeria - A major center of Hausa Islamic scholarship. 5. Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso - The capital of the Mossi Kingdoms.

East Africa: 1. Mombasa, Kenya - An important Swahili trading city-state known for its trade of ivory and slaves. 2. Mogadishu, Somalia - Known as Maqdishu, it was the capital of the Ajuran Sultanate, a notable center of commerce and culture. 3. Harar, Ethiopia - Considered as the fourth holiest city of Islam. 4. Zanzibar City, Tanzania - Known as Unguja, it was a significant trading city-state under the Sultanate of Zanzibar. 5. Antananarivo, Madagascar - Known as Analamanga, it was the capital of the Kingdom of Imerina.

Central Africa: 1. Kinshasa, DR Congo - Known as Mbanza-Kongo, it was the capital of the Kingdom of Kongo. 2. Luanda, Angola - Founded by the Portuguese, it was a major center of the Atlantic slave trade. 3. Bangui, Central African Republic - An important trading post on the Ubangi River. 4. Brazzaville, Republic of Congo - Known as Mfoa, it was a significant city in the Kingdom of Kongo. 5. N'Djamena, Chad - Known as N'Djamena, it was a major city in the Sultanate of Bagirmi.

Southern Africa: 1. Cape Town, South Africa - Known as Kaapstad, it was a supply station for Dutch ships travelling to East Africa, India, and the Far East. 2. Maputo, Mozambique - Known as Lourenço Marques, it was a major Portuguese trading post. 3. Maseru, Lesotho - An important city in the Kingdom of Lesotho. 4. Gaborone, Botswana - Known as Gaberones, it was a major city in the Bechuanaland Protectorate. 5. Windhoek, Namibia - Known as ǀAiǁgams, it was a major city in the Herero Kingdoms.

Notable natural phenomena and attractions: 1. The Nile River - The longest river in Africa, notable for its role in the civilization of ancient Egypt. 2. The Sahara Desert - The largest hot desert in the world, known for its unique landscapes. 3. The Victoria Falls - Located on the Zambezi River, it's one of the world's largest waterfalls. 4. The Great Rift Valley - A notable geological feature that runs through several East African countries. 5. The Okavango Delta - A large inland delta in Botswana, known for its rich wildlife.

Notable historical events between 1600 and 1690: 1. The Battle of Mbwila (1665) - A conflict between the Kingdom of Portugal and the Kingdom of Kongo, resulting in the death of the Kongo king. 2. The Gondar period of Ethiopia (1632-1755) - Marked by the reign of Emperor Fasilides and the construction of the Fasil Ghebbi fortress city. 3. The establishment of the Dutch Cape Colony (1652) - The Dutch East India Company established a colony at Cape of Good Hope as a resupply point for ships.

Please double check the images to make sure that a specific town or place is shown on this map. You can also get in touch and ask us to check the map for you.

This map looks great at all sizes: 12x16in (30.5x41cm), 16x20in (40.5x51cm), 18x24in (45.5x61cm), 24x30in (61x76cm), 32x40in (81.5x102cm), 40x50in (102x127cm), 48x60in (122x153cm) and 56x70in (142x178cm), but it looks even better when printed large.

I can create beautiful, large prints of this map up to 90in (229cm). Please get in touch if you're looking for larger, customised or different framing options.

The model in the listing images is holding the 16x20in (40.5x51cm) version of this map.

The fifth listing image shows an example of my map personalisation service.

If you’re looking for something slightly different, check out my collection of the best old maps of Europe and European cities to see if something else catches your eye.

Please contact me to check if a certain location, landmark or feature is shown on this map.

This would make a wonderful birthday, Christmas, Father's Day, work leaving, anniversary or housewarming gift for someone from the areas covered by this map.

This map is available as a giclée print on acid free archival matte paper, or you can buy it framed. The frame is a nice, simple black frame that suits most aesthetics. Please get in touch if you'd like a different frame colour or material. My frames are glazed with super-clear museum-grade acrylic (perspex/acrylite), which is significantly less reflective than glass, safer, and will always arrive in perfect condition.

My standard frame is a black wood frame. It is simple and quite modern looking. On maps up to 36 inches (91cm) the frame is 2-3cm (0.75in to 1in) wide. I use thicker frames on larger maps - usually between 35 and 60mm (1.4in to 2.4in).

In all cases I use super-clear acrylic (perspex/acrylite) for the frame glass. It's lighter and safer than glass - and it looks better, as the reflectivity is lower.

All frames are provided "ready to hang", with either a string or brackets on the back. Very large frames will have heavy duty hanging plates and/or a mounting baton. If you have any questions, please get in touch.

See some examples of my framed maps and framed canvas maps.

A few different frame colours are available for free (black, brown, white and natural). Custom framing and mounting/matting is available if you're looking for something else.

Alternatively, I can also supply old maps on canvas, foam board, cotton rag and other materials.

If you want to frame your map yourself, please read my map size guide first.

For most orders, delivery time is about 3 working days. Personalised and custom made maps take longer, as I have to do the personalisation and send it to you for approval, which usually takes a day or two.

Please note that for larger framed orders (over 40in/100cm), and some other framed sizes, the delivery time will be closer to 7-10 days.

If you need your order to arrive by a certain date, please contact me before you order so that we can find the best way of making sure you get your order in time.

I have specialist printing and framing facilities in 17 countries around the world. This means your map will be made locally, which cuts down on delivery time and reduces the chance of your map being damaged during delivery. There won't be any extra taxes or duties to pay, and we'll put less CO2 into the air.

All of my maps are well packaged and sent in a rugged tube if unframed, or surrounded by foam if framed.

I try to send out all maps within 1 or 2 days of receiving your order, though some products (like face masks or mugs) can take longer to make.

If you select Express Delivery at checkout your order we will prioritise your order and send it out by 1-day courier (Fedex, DHL, UPS, Parcelforce).

We can sometimes do next-day delivery if you order before 10am. But usually it's best to contact me first before you order.

Read my full delivery and local production guide

My maps are extremely high quality reproductions of original maps.

I source original, extremely rare maps from libraries, auction houses and private collections around the world, restore them at my London workshop, and then use specialist giclée inks and printers to create beautiful maps that look even better than the original.

My maps are printed on acid-free archival matte (not glossy) paper that feels very high quality and almost like card. In technical terms the paper weight/thickness is 10mil/200gsm. It's perfect for framing.

I print with Epson ultrachrome giclée UV fade resistant pigment inks - some of the best inks you can find.

I can also make maps on canvas, cotton rag and other exotic materials.

Learn more about how the Unique Maps Co. sources and restores old maps

Map personalisation

If you're looking for the perfect anniversary or housewarming gift, I can personalise your map to make it truly unique. For example, I can add a short message, or highlight an important location, or add your family's coat of arms.

The options are almost infinite. Please see my map personalisation page for some wonderful examples of what's possible.

To order a personalised map, select "personalise your map" before adding it to your basket.

Get in touch if you're looking for more complex customisations and personalisations.

If you are not happy with your unique map for any reason, contact me for a no-quibble refund.

I am very confident you will like your old map. I have been doing this since 1984. I'm a 5-star Etsy seller. I have sold tens of thousands of maps and have over 1,500 real 5-star reviews.

I use a unique process to restore my maps that is massively time consuming and labour intensive. Hunting down the original maps can take months. I use state of the art and eye-wateringly expensive technology to scan and restore the maps. As a result, I guarantee my maps are a cut above the rest - that's why I can offer a no-quibble refund.

Almost all of my maps look amazing at large sizes (200cm, 6.5ft+) and I can frame and deliver them to you as well, via special oversized courier. Contact me to discuss your specific needs.

Fill in the form below, message me on WhatsApp, or call the workshop on (718) 412-1214

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