Guide To Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library


HM 29 “Vallard Atlas”

View all images for this manuscript

PORTOLAN ATLAS, anonymous
Dieppe, 1547
World atlas containing 15 nautical charts, tables of declinations, etc.: ff. 1-4v: Enssuyt le Regime et Gouvernement du Solleil: preliminary sheets of nautical information and tables of declinations. ff. 5v-34: Portolan charts of: 1. “Terra Java” (east coast of Australia?) 2. “La Jave” (north coast of Australia?), East Indies, part of Asia 3. “Terra Java” (west coast of Australia?) 4. Arabian Sea, Red Sea, and Persian Gulf 5. Southern Africa and southwest Indian Ocean 6. Atlantic Ocean with coast of Africa and Brazil 7. Northwest Africa 8. Europe and northern Africa 9. North America, east coast 10. West Indies, Mexico, Central America, northern South America 11. Northeastern South America 12. Southeastern South America, Straits of Magellan 13. Western Europe and northwestern Africa 14. Adriatic Sea (by a different cartographer) 15. Aegean Sea (same cartographer as chart 14) Parchment, ff. iv (early modern parchment and paper) + 34 (17 sheets folded in center, back sides of nautical charts are blank) + iv (early modern parchment and paper); 390 × 280 mm. (map size, 370 × 480 mm. on double page openings, with many variants). 1-182 with each bifolium reinforced by parchment strips around the fold, signatures of quires in letters in lower right hand margin, some partly or wholly trimmed away. Outside borders are single ruled lines overtraced with color on top and bottom with latitude scales forming lateral borders; in addition, charts 1-5 and 11 have wide illustrated borders. Three numbering systems in early hands: 1) ink foliation in arabic numerals at top center of each folio; 2) a complete chart numbering system (1 to 15) pencilled in upper left corner of blank sides preceding each chart; 3) an incomplete chart numbering system, numbers 2 to 10 only, pencilled in upper right corners of preceding blank sides interspersed irregularly through the volume. Black and red ink for nomenclature in a minuscule script, with gold for area names; land masses outlined in color with islands painted blue, red or gold; numerous compass roses on each chart with the usual 32 rhumb line network in black, red and green ink for the principal directions; numbered latitude scale on left margin of chart 1, left and right margins of charts 2 to 13 (with chart 9 having double latitude numbering marked 28°-71° on the left scale and 24°-68° on the right), unnumbered latitude scales on charts 14 and 15, no longitude; each chart has 1 or 2 unnumbered scales of distance (except 11, 14, and 15 where there are none); lavishly illustrated with varying scenes, ships, sea-beasts, sovereigns, etc. Oriented with south at the top. Bound, ca. 1805, in French straight grain red morocco, gilt; rebacked, original spine laid down. Probably made in Dieppe, France either by a Portuguese cartographer or based on a Portuguese prototype, judging from the Portuguese influence on the geographical names. Charts 14 and 15 seem to be made by a second person since they differ in cartographic technique and artistic style. On title page, f. 1, under an armillary sphere is written “Nicolas Vallard de Dieppe, 1547.” Vallard was probably not the cartographer, but the first owner, whose coat of arms may be those in the center of the border illustrations on chart 11: argent on a saltire sable (or gules?) five besants, in chief a mullet sable pierced of the field. Owned by Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, Prince de Bénévent (1754-1838). His sale, London, 8 May 1816, n. 3464 to Robert Triphook. His sale, Evans, 29 March 1833, n. 445 to Henry Bohn. David Steward Ker sale, London, 7 May 1849, pt. IV, n. 791 to Sir Thomas Phillipps. “Phillipps MS 13199” inscribed on flyleaves ii and iii and his Middle Hill bookplate on front pastedown along with date “1850” and note describing the manuscript. Obtained privately by Henry E. Huntington through A. S. W. Rosenbach in 1924. Bibliography: J. D. Barbié du Bocage, “Extrait de la notice d’un manuscrit géographique de la bibliothèque de Mgr. le prince de Bénévent, en un séance publique de l’Institut de France” in Gazette nationale ou Le Moniteur universal, No. 195, 14 July 1807, 671. R. H. Major, Introduction to “Early Voyages to Terra Australis, now called Australia,” Hakluyt Society, Works, vol. 25 (1859), xxvii-xxviii, xxxiv-lxii. T. F. Fenwick, The Middle Hill Press, A short Catalogue of Some of Sir Thomas Phillipps’ Privately Printed Works (London 1886), n. 66, “The first Map of Australia from Nicholas Vallard’s Atlas, 1547,” published privately by Phillipps in 1856 (copy held by the Huntington Library, RB 477992). Harrisse, Découverte, 227-31. Anthiaume, 1:93-96. De Ricci, 41. Wagner, Portolan Atlases, 7-8. PAC 98, n. 306. PMC, 5:136-39 with reproductions of charts 2, 5, 7-11, and 14 on pls. 621-24. Ganong, 234-35, 337-41, with reproduction of chart 9 on p. 338. S. E. Morison, The European Discovery of America (New York 1971) 1:448-49 and 461 with reproduction of chart 9 on pp. 452-53. Wallis, 19, 38-41, 48, 53-54, 58-60, 64, 66. R. Hervé, Découverte fortuite de l’Australie et de la Nouvelle-Zélande par des navigateurs portugais et espagnols entre 1521 et 1528 (Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale 1982) 11, 17.
Abbreviations
Anthiaume
A. Anthiaume, Cartes marines, constructions navales, voyages de découverte chez les normands, 1500-1650 (Paris 1916)
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)
Ganong
W. F. Ganong, Crucial Maps in the Early Cartography and Place-Nomenclature of the Atlantic Coast of Canada [Toronto 1964]
Harrisse, Découverte
H. Harrisse, Découverte et évolution cartographique de Terre-Neuve et des pays circonvoisins 1497-1501-1769 (London 1900)
PAC
Canada. Public Archives. Sixteenth-Century Maps Relating to Canada; a check-list and bibliography (Ottawa 1956)
PMC
A. Cortesão and A. Teixeira da Mota, Portugaliae monumenta cartographica (Lisbon 1960-[62])
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
Wallis
H. Wallis, The Maps and Text of the Boke of Idrography Presented by Jean Rotz to Henry VIII now in the British Library (Oxford for the Roxburghe Club 1981)

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.
All rights to the cataloguing and images in Digital Scriptorium reside with the contributing institutions.