The City of Loango.
Olfert Dapper/ G. Child
Published 1746, London
Size: 13.5" X 9.8"
Condition: Some foxing.
A rare city view of Loango originally published by Olfert Dapper in 1668 in Naukeurige Beschrijvingen Der Afrikaensche gewesten and reissued in 1746 with the publication of Thomas Astley’s A New Collection of Voyages and Travels. It is argued that “the engraving remains one of the very few images we have of the a city in Sub-Saharan Africa…”. It is further argued that the city view was “drawn for a European audience…:” and as such “it is not surprising that it resembles a European city.”
The Kingdom of Loango was a pre-colonial African state that lasted until the 19th Century in what is today the western part of the Republic of Congo. Loango’s economy was based on copper exports as well as in the cloth trade.
The map references different palaces and buildings such as; the Kings Palace, the Womens Palace, the Cryers Steeple, the Royal Wine House, the Royal Banqueting House, the Public Audience Place, the King and Queen’s Gardens, as well a indicating the location where those found guilty by the Imbondo drink are dragged and executed”.
(Sources: Kahn, P., City Maps: Ways to View the Polis.)