Guide To Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library


HM 42

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PORTOLAN CHARTS, anonymous
Majorca (?), ca. 1575
Two nautical charts of the Mediterranean area: 1. Mediterranean Sea 2. Aegean Sea Parchment, 2 separate sheets with chart 1, 395 × 682 mm. including the extension at left (374 × 670 mm.) and chart 2, 397 × 551 (371 × 525) mm. Borders are narrow yellow bands outlined with double ruled black lines. Black and red ink for nomenclature in a minuscule script with area names in display script; land masses outlined in black ink on chart 1 and in colors on chart 2, larger islands outlined in color and smaller islands painted red, blue or green on both charts and in gold on chart 2; chart 1 has 13 compass roses and chart 2, 14; usual 32 rhumb line network in black, red, and green ink for the principal directions; no latitude or longitude; 2 scales of distance on chart 1 with one in a cartouche surmounted by an elaborate plume design, chart 2 has the same plume design above a row of dots to indicate distance; chart 1 is highly decorated, chart 2 has no illustrations but is brightly colored. Unbound: each chart is backed by another sheet of parchment, folded and placed in a nineteenth century red morocco blind tooled case. Probably made toward the end of the sixteenth century in Majorca, judging from linguistic characteristics. Probably made by a member of the Oliva family according to letter on file from H. Derek Howse of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. Sold (1868) by Boone (?) to Henry Huth. Ex libris of Henry Huth (1815-78) and note “Portolano (3) p. 1171” on front pastedown; his The Huth Library (1880) pt. 4, 1171. Pencilled number “H 5915” for sale of Alfred Henry Huth (1850-1910), Sotheby’s, 11 July 1917, pt. VI, n. 5915 to G. D. Smith from whom it was acquired by Henry E. Huntington. Bibliography: De Ricci, 44.
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)
The Huth Library
The Huth Library: a Catalogue of the Printed Books, Manuscripts, Autograph Letters, and Engravings Collected by Henry Huth (London 1880)

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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