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[Portolan chart of the Mediterranean]

Author: Pre-1650 Manuscript Collection (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library); University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
Publisher: [Italy, between 1530 and 1566]
Edition/Format:   Map : Manuscript   Archival Material : Italian
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Manuscript of a portolan chart from the 16th century, mapping the entirety of the Mediterranean region.
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Genre/Form: Illuminated manuscripts
Manuscripts
Portolan charts
Sources
Specimens
Maps Early works to 1800
Material Type: Manuscript
Document Type: Map, Archival Material
All Authors / Contributors: Pre-1650 Manuscript Collection (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library); University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
OCLC Number: 874912121
Language Note: Italian.
Notes: Ms. map.
Title supplied by cataloger.
Layout: Chart is on flesh side of vellum; hair side blank. A border of double lines, 39 mm. at its greatest extent, runs down the top (north) and bottom (south) edges of the manuscript.
Script: Place names written in a humanist script.
Decoration: 1. Nine large wind roses (four complete and five half), composed of concentric circles with an illuminated gold center and compass points with alternating red and blue paint -- 2. Two smaller compass roses, one over Sicily and one in the eastern Mediterranean between Crete and Egypt, illuminated, with alternating red and blue points -- 3. Jerusalem is marked with a representation of Calvary and three crosses -- 4. Also at the eastern end of the chart is a representation of what is presumably Mount Ararat with the rising sun -- 5. Coastlines painted in alternating segments of green, ocher, blue, and red -- 6. Smaller islands painted solidly in blue, red, or gold, some with crosses (e.g. a red cross over Chios representing Genoese control, a white cross over Rhodes representing the Knights Hospitaller) -- 7. Rivers and waterways drawn in blue ink -- 8. Floriated decoration in blue around the scales of distance at the bottom center (south) and upper right-hand (northeast) corner of the map -- 9. Rhumb lines throughout, in black, red, and ocher -- 10. Many of the numerous place names are rubricated.
Origin: Use of the Italian vernacular versions of place names gives strong indication of regional origin. Possible dating determined from the following: 1. White cross over Malta indicates a terminus post quem of 1530, when the Emperor Charles V gifted it to the Knights Hospitaller -- 2. Genoese cross of St. George over Chios could suggest a date before the island fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1566, though this latter dating index is not conclusive. For instance, the chart has a Hospitaller cross over Rhodes, which fell to the Ottomans in 1522. However, decoration and script are consistent with a dating to the middle decades of the sixteenth century.
Provenance: 1. Belonged to the dukes of Lerma, in Spain -- 2. Acquired by the University of Illinois Map Library: identity of the seller and exact date unknown, but item was featured in that department's "New Acquisitions" for January-February 1953 -- 3. Eventually transferred to the Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
Shelf-mark: Urbana, IL, University of Illinois Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Pre-1650 MS 0210.
Description: 1 leaf : parchment, ill. ; 425 x 728 mm.

Abstract:

Manuscript of a portolan chart from the 16th century, mapping the entirety of the Mediterranean region.

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Linked Data


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