Guide To Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library


HM 10

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BATTISTA AGNESE, PORTOLAN ATLAS
Italy, ca. 1550
World atlas containing 16 maps, tables of declinations, etc.: 1. f. 2v: Table of declinations 2. f. 3: Armillary sphere 3. ff. 3v-4: Zodiac 4. ff. 4v-5: Pacific Ocean with portions of North America, South America, Asia, and East Indies 5. ff. 5v-6: Atlantic Ocean with portions of North America, South America, Europe, and Africa 6. ff. 6v-7: Indian Ocean, Africa, southern Asia, portion of East Indies 7. ff. 7v-8: Europe, including British Isles, Russia, and part of Scandinavia 8. ff. 8v-9: Western Mediterranean with Iberian peninsula and northwest Africa 9. ff. 9v-10: Central Mediterranean and Italy 10. ff. 10v-11: Eastern Mediterranean and Aegean Sea 11. ff. 11v-12: Black Sea 12. ff. 12v-13: Italy and Dalmatian coast: colored map, with inland cities and geographical features (not by Agnese) 13. ff. 13v-14: Aegean Sea 14. ff. 14v-15: Palestine: colored map, with inland cities and geographical features (not by Agnese) 15. ff. 15v-16: Oval map of the world (showing 2 routes: from Spain to Peru, and around the world via the Moluccas) 16. ff. 16v-17: Western Mediterranean and Iberian peninsula: colored map, with inland cities and geographical features (not by Agnese) 17. ff. 17v-18: Russia: colored map, with inland cities and geographical features (not by Agnese) 18. ff. 18v-19: Scandinavian peninsula, Iceland, part of British Isles: colored map, with inland cities and geographical features (not by Agnese) 19. ff. 19v-20: Eastern hemisphere (unfinished) Parchment, ff. i + 20 (19 sheets folded in center and pasted back to back, 1st and 2nd sheets have become unpasted) + i; 326 × 232 mm. (map size, 289 × 417 mm. on double page openings). Bifolia attached sequentially with stubs. Single ruled black borders. Modern pencilled foliation. The charts that were made by Agnese have black and red ink for nomenclature in a minuscule script with square capitals as display script; land masses outlined in blue ink with islands painted gold, green or red. The charts in this volume that are not made by Agnese (ff. 12v-13, 16v-17, 17v-18, 18v-19) have nomenclature in black ink only, islands the color of adjacent land, and the land masses colored with a yellow wash, outlined with green (except for ff. 18v-19, which has no outlining). Each chart has one compass rose with the usual 32 rhumb line network in black, red, and green ink for the principal directions (except chart on ff. 18v-19, which has no rhumb lines); latitude and longitude are marked by numbers on ff. 4v-5, 5v-6, 6v-7 (with latitude only on ff. 8v-9) and with a formalized latitude scale on ff. 18v-19; distance is indicated by a series of dots, or dots and circles, placed diagonally in one corner of each chart; many charts decorated with ships, kings, cities and wind-heads. The 5 charts not drawn by Agnese are notable for the great number of minutely drawn churches representing towns. Bound, s. XVII, in French calf, gilt with coat of arms of Valbelle de la Baume stamped on front and back; gilt spine; edges tinted red. Eleven charts in the characteristic style of Battista Agnese; the remaining 5 are the work of 1 or 2 other cartographers whose charts differ markedly: they are land maps with geographical features and not finely drawn. The atlas was probably made in Venice; the geographical features suggest the date 1550 (later than HM 25 and HM 26 but earlier than HM 27, which is inscribed with the date 1553). Arms of an early owner (ca. 1600) stamped on binding and drawn on f. 2: quarterly 1 and 4, gules a cross of Toulouse, 2 and 3, gules a lion rampant crowned, on an escutcheon of pretence azure, a greyhound salient argent with inscription “Ex Dono Regis Cosme Valbelleo Balmelio” below. Owned by Cruninghen ca. 1650; this name across center of f. 2. On flyleaf, owner’s pencilled marking “7332” and “30 VI 921,” possibly referring to the date of sale (July 1921 in Huntington Library records) by an Italian dealer to Henry E. Huntington. Bibliography: Wagner, “Manuscript Atlases of Battista Agnese,” 82 (“there is something curious about the return route from the Moluccas…a branch of this turns south off the African coast in about 15°N latitude and extends to Brazil”; the extra “route,” however, is the offset from the return route along the African coast which is traced in silver on the facing page); De Ricci, 39. Wagner, Cartography, 2:278, n. 22. Wagner, Portolan Atlases, 5. PAC, 102-03, n. 327.
Abbreviations
De Ricci
S. De Ricci, with the assistance of W. H. Wilson, Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada (New York 1935-37; index 1940)
PAC
Canada. Public Archives. Sixteenth-Century Maps Relating to Canada; a check-list and bibliography (Ottawa 1956)
Wagner, Cartography
H. R. Wagner, The Cartography of the Northwest Coast of America to the Year 1800 (Berkeley 1937)
Wagner, Portolan Atlases
H. R. Wagner, “The Portolan Atlases of American Interest in the Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery” in Essays offered to Herbert Putnam, ed. by W. W. Bishop and A. Keogh (New Haven 1929) 498-509; repr. issued separately cited in this catalogue
Wagner, “The Manuscript Atlases of Battista Agnese”
H. R. Wagner, “The Manuscript Atlases of Battista Agnese,” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 25 (1931) 1-110 and plates

C. W. Dutschke with the assistance of R. H. Rouse et al., Guide to Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library (San Marino, 1989). Copyright 1989.
Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery, San Marino, California.
Electronic version encoded by Sharon K, Goetz, 2003.
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