Adina Sommer`s Rare Antique Maps and Contemporary Art

De Stadt Benin. Le Benin.

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Article ID AF0430
Artist Dapper (1636-1689)
Olfert Dapper was a Dutch physician and writer. He wrote books about world history and geography, although he never travelled outside the Netherlands. In 1663 wrote a book on the history of Amsterdam. His Description of Africa (1668) is a key text for African studies. His book "is one of the most authoritative 17th century accounts on Africa published in German. Translations appeared in English, French, and German. Dapper never traveled to Africa but used reports by Jesuit missionaries and other (Dutch) explorers. Within a few years he published about China, India, Persia, Georgia, and Arabia. His books became well known in his own time. The fine plates include views of Algiers, Benin, Cairo, Cape Town, La Valetta, Marrakech, St. Helena, Tangier, Tripoli, Tunis, as well as, animals and plants.
Title De Stadt Benin. Le Benin.
Year ca. 1670
Description
Decorative view of Benin City, it is the capital of Edo State in southern Nigeria.

The Portuguese visited Benin City around 1485. Benin grew rich during the 16th and 17th centuries due to trade within southern Nigeria, as well as through trade with Europeans, mostly in pepper and ivory. In the early 16th century the Ọba sent an ambassador to Lisbon, and the King of Portugal sent Christian missionaries to Benin. Some residents of Benin could still speak a pidgin Portuguese in the late 19th century. Many Portuguese loan words can still be found today in the languages of the area. A Portuguese captain described the city in 1691:“Great Benin, where the king resides, is larger than Lisbon; all the streets run straight and as far as the eye can see. The houses are large, especially that of the king, which is richly decorated and has fine columns. The city is wealthy and industrious. It is so well governed that theft is unknown and the people live in such security that they have no doors to their houses.
Place of Publication Amsterdam
Dimensions (cm)26,5 x 34,5
ConditionPerfect condition
Coloringcolored
TechniqueCopper print

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