Guide To Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library


HM 41

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FERNÃO VAZ DOURADO, PORTOLAN ATLAS
Goa (?), 1570 (?)
World atlas containing 17 nautical charts, tables of declinations, etc.: 1. Southern South America 2. Eastern South America from the Amazon to the La Plata River 3. West Indies, Central America, part of Mexico, and southeastern United States 4. Newfoundland and east coast of North America 5. Scandinavia and northwestern Europe 6. Eastern Mediterranean, Black Sea, and Caspian Sea 7. Western Mediterranean, Europe, and northern Africa 8. Northwestern Africa 9. Southern Africa and Madagascar 10. Indian Ocean (western part) 11. Eastern Africa, Arabia, and India 12. Southeast China, Japan, East Indies (northern part) 13. East Indies 14. East Indies (eastern part) 15. West coast of North America 16. West coast of United States and Mexico 17. West coast of South America from Ecuador to northern Chile 18. Cosmographical data, as described in PMC, 3:15 and reproduced in pl. 276 19-20. Tables of declinations Parchment, ff. i (marbled paper) + 40 (20 sheets folded in the center, blank on backs) + i (paper); 411 × 271 mm. (map size, 336 × 453 mm. on double page openings). Bifolia attached sequentially with stubs. Wide borders decorated with floral designs and legends. Traces remain of the original red ink chart numbers in arabic numerals (generally cropped); modern pencilled numbers in upper right corners. Black and red ink for nomenclature in a minuscule script with area names in square capitals and cosmographic data on f. 18 in round gothic hand; land masses outlined in color with islands painted gold, red, blue, or green; 1 to 3 elaborate compass roses on each chart with usual 32 rhumb line network in black, red, and green ink for the principal directions; numbered latitude scale on each chart but no longitude; each chart has a scale of distance in a large ornamental cartouche; charts are highly decorated with coats of arms, banners, rivers, etc. Bound, ca. 1680, in French brown morocco, gilt spine with lettering MAPA MVMDO (sic). Atlas is unsigned and undated, but is unquestionably in the style of Fernão Vaz Dourado, probably made in Goa (where he lived until 1571), since the table of tides in the cosmographical data on f. 18 is given for India and there is great detail for the South Pacific-Indian Ocean region. A. H. Huth sale catalogue, pt. VI, n. 5920 lists the manuscript as coming from the Library of the Archbishop of Toledo but Cortesão and Teixeira da Mota in PMC, 3:13-14 feel that this atlas was in the Biblioteca Nacional in Madrid until 1866 but disappeared after being taken to the Paris Exhibition in 1867. Sold in 1874 by Quaritch to Henry Huth (1815-78), whose ex libris is on front pastedown; The Huth Library (1880) pt. 4, 1172. Alfred Henry Huth (1850-1910) sale, Sotheby’s, 11 July 1917, pt. VI, n. 5920 with reproduction of chart 4 to G. D. Smith from whom it was acquired by Henry E. Huntington. Bibliography: Cortesão, Cartografia, 2:59-64, with reproduction of charts 1 and 7 on pls. 30 and 31. De Ricci, 43-44. Wagner, Cartography, 1:62, n. 65 and 2:284, n. 97. Wagner, Portolan Atlases, 8-9. PAC, 151, n. 526. PMC, 3:3-8, 13-16, with reproduction of complete atlas on pls. 259-77 (charts 6 and 12 in color).
Abbreviations
Cortesão, Cartografia
A. Cortesão, Cartografia e cartógrafos portugueses dos séculos XV e XVI (Lisbon 1935)
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)
PMC
A. Cortesão and A. Teixeira da Mota, Portugaliae monumenta cartographica (Lisbon 1960-[62])
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

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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