Guide To Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library


HM 2098

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ANONYMOUS, PORTOLAN CHART
England, s. XVIIin
Nautical chart of west coast of Europe from southern Scotland to Cape Palmas on the coast of Africa. Parchment, f. 1, 590 × 400 (570 × 390) mm. Border is yellow band edged in black with simple arabesque and dot design, on three sides only, which suggests it may be a “half-chart” of the North Atlantic. Black and red ink for nomenclature, in a cursive hand with area names in display script; land masses outlined in color, islands painted red and green; 2 compass roses (main one with Tudor rose in center); usual 32 rhumb line network with black, red and green ink for the principal directions; latitude scale numbered from 5° to 56° N, no longitude; numbered distance scale in cartouche decorated with stylized leaf and fruit design; no decoration except for the distance scale and compass roses. Unbound: possibly originally mounted on boards since there is a sharp vertical crease in the center of this chart, but there are no cut-outs for hinges. A lesser horizontal fold was possibly made to fit a later binding. Chart is now flattened and in modern portfolio. Probably made in London by a member of the Thames School of Chartmakers at the beginning of the seventeenth century. No owners’ markings; according to Anderson sale catalogue, chart was found in chest of documents related to Plymouth district of Devonshire, all dated before 1601. Belonged to E. Williams. Sale by Anderson, New York, Cat. 1430, 13 May 1919, n. 304 to G. D. Smith from whom it was acquired by Henry E. Huntington. Bibliography: De Ricci, 111. T. R. Smith, “Manuscript and Printed Sea Charts in Seventeenth-century London: The Case of the Thames School,” The Compleat Plattmaker, ed. by N. J. W. Thrower (Berkeley 1978), 98.
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)

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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