Guide To Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library


HM 26

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BATTISTA AGNESE, PORTOLAN ATLAS
Italy, ca. 1544
World atlas containing 11 nautical charts, table 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, and southern Asia 7. ff. 7v-8: British Isles and central Europe 8. ff. 8v-9: Iberian peninsula and northwest Africa 9. ff. 9v-10: Western Mediterranean 10. ff. 10v-11: Central Mediterranean and Italy 11. ff. 11v-12: Eastern Mediterranean area and Aegean Sea 12. ff. 12v-13: Black Sea 13. ff. 13v-14: Oval map of the world (showing 2 routes: from Spain to Peru, and around the world via the Moluccas) 14. ff. 14v-15: Atlantic hemisphere with Antarctic continent (incomplete) Parchment, ff. ii + 14 (13 sheets folded in center and pasted back to back) + i; 242 × 171 mm. (map size, 193 × 295 mm. on double page openings). Bifolia attached sequentially. Single gold ruled borders. Modern pencilled foliation. 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; each chart has one simple compass rose with usual 32 rhumb line network in black, red, and green ink for the principal directions; latitude and longitude marked by numbers on charts ff. 4v-5, 5v-6, and 6v-7 only; distance indicated by a series of dots, or dots and circles, placed diagonally in one corner of each chart (omitted on ff. 12v-13). No decoration except on ff. 4v-5 (forest), 5v-6 (forest and vignette of Mexico City), 6v-7 (8 wind-heads), and 13v-14 (vignette of Mexico City, mountains, rivers, and 12 wind-heads). Bound, s. XVI, in Italian red morocco over wooden boards with 2 rectangles stamped in gold containing fleurets in the corners and 2 ornamental designs (same as on HM 25) on front and back covers; 4 clasps. Inside back binding is a place for a compass needle which would operate with the wind-rose drawn on the back pastedown. Atlas in the characteristic style of Battista Agnese, probably made in Venice (since he worked there and Venetian linguistic forms appear in map notations) between 1543 and 1545 (later than HM 25 and earlier than HM 10 and HM 27) judging from geographical features. Arms of first owner (?) on f. 2: or a swan’s (or eagle’s) head sable issuant from a cloud azure, holding in its beak a horse-shoe proper; sold by Ellis Booksellers, London, 1864, to Henry Huth (1815-78). His bookplate on front pastedown and pencilled note “Portolano (4) p. 1171” and “1550” referring to The Huth Library (1880) pt. 4, 1171. On back pastedown pencilled note “H 5916” referring to the sale of Alfred Henry Huth (1850-1910), Sotheby’s, 1917, pt. VI, lot 5916, with reproduction of chart ff. 5v-6, to G. D. Smith from whom it was acquired by Henry E. Huntington. Bibliography: Wagner, “Manuscript Atlases of Battista Agnese,” 75-76, with reproduction of entire atlas in appendix. De Ricci, 40. Wagner, Cartography, 2:278, n. 11. Wagner, Portolan Atlases, 4. PAC, 85, n. 248.
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)
The Huth Library
The Huth Library: a Catalogue of the Printed Books, Manuscripts, Autograph Letters, and Engravings Collected by Henry Huth (London 1880)
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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