[Portolan atlas].

Map, Manuscript
[Spain or Italy], [between 1575 and 1600]
8 leaves : parchment, illustrations, maps ; 205 x 148 (195 x 144) mm bound to 207 x 155 mm.


Former owner
Attributed name
Library of Congress genre(s)
Rare books genre
Summary note
A manuscript atlas comprised of 4 unnumbered portolan charts, possibly by Jaume Olives, a mapmaker from the Majorcas, who settled in Southern Italy and was active around 1557-1566.
  • Ms. codex.
  • Title supplied by cataloger.
  • Collation: Parchment ; fol. i + 8 + i.
  • Description: The charts give place names (probably in Catalan) on the landward side of the coastline, and also provide rhumb lines, compass points, and latitudes (only on maps 3-4).
  • Decoration: Maps in red, brown, gold, and green, with red borders, similar to the Olomouc atlas, but the latter is far more highly decorated. The names of more significant ports and safe harbors are in red. Upper cover has coat-of-arms in brown, blue, and red.
Binding note
Italy(?), 16th century. Stiffened parchment wrapper (17th century?), with paper lining over which modern parchment endleaves have been pasted. The wrapper might have been reused from another manuscript. The wrapper had two green silk endties (one partially preserved) at the fore-edge.
Language note
  • Escritura francesa;
  • Escritura redonda.
  • Fols. [1v]-[2r]: "ASIA," showing parts of the Ottoman Empire, including Greece and the Greek Isles, Constantinople and Asia Minor, the Levant, and North Africa from the mouth of the Nile to Cyrene
  • Fols. [3v]-[4r]: "AFRICA EUROPA," showing the western Mediterranean, eastern Spain, the Majorcas, Italy, Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia, the Dalmatian coast, and north Africa
  • Fols. [5v]-[6r]: showing Morocco, Spain, the west coast of France and North Sea coast, British Isles and Ireland, Iceland, and to the south of Iceland two islands, including a double island labeled "Insula de Brazil," which is also shown on the globe of the German cartographer Martin Behaim (1459-1507), and an unnamed island.
  • Fols. [7v]-[8r]: showing the southwestern coast of the Iberian peninsula from the forty-first parallel (just north of Lisbon) south along the West African coast, from Gibraltar to the trading post of Senegambia (Senegal), as well as the Azores, Cape Verde Islands, and Canary Islands.
Unknown early provenance. Wrapper has arms similar to those of some members of the Medici family of Florence. Inscription relating to Jacobo Antonio Pennetti. Grenville Kane purchased the manuscript in 1921, possibly from Davis and Orioli. The Kane Collection was acquired by the Princeton University Library from Kane's heirs in February 1946.
Medieval & Renaissance manuscripts in the Princeton University Library, volume 2, pages 125-126.
Other format(s)
Also available in an electronic version.
Place name(s)
  • Spain.
  • Italy.
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