Guide To Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library


HM 47

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PORTOLAN CHART, anonymous
France (?), ca. 1620
Nautical chart of west coast of Spitsbergen. Parchment, f. 1; 635 × 460 (607 × 422) mm. Black band border. Black ink for nomenclature in a minuscule script with area names in display script; land masses outlined in color, smaller islands painted gold, silver, or green; 2 intricate compass roses with usual 32 rhumb line network in black, red and green ink for the principal directions; latitude scale numbered from 77° to 80°, no longitude; numbered scale of distance in an elaborate cartouche; illustrated with coats of arms of England and France and with drawings of animals. Unbound: chart has a center fold that appears to have been attached to a stub for binding at one time; now flattened and kept in modern case. Chart was probably made in France (since area names are French), possibly between 1615 and 1623 (since conflicting Danish and Dutch claims are noted). The only marking is the number “13” in a seventeenth century hand on verso (once in pencil and once in red ink), probably a page number in a volume of maps. Source and date of acquisition by Henry E. Huntington unknown.
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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