Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.c

Portulan C.G.A.5.c Facsimile Edition

Used and new from

520

approx US$ 613


Our price

More Buying Choices

Request Info

This anonymous portolan chart is an interesting example of fifteenth-century nautical cartography. Although it is undated, it is believed to have been made around 1472, and is thus the oldest surviving Portuguese chart. Oriented to the north, the chart depicts the Atlantic coast from southern France to the Gulf of Guinea, as well as the Atlantic islands, such as the Canaries, Azores, Madeira, and Cape Verde. Several cities and flags are also portrayed, showing the presence of the Portuguese in Western Africa in the second half of the fifteenth century.

Although neither the author nor the date of creation of the chart is clear, it is a remarkable example of late medieval portolan charts, showing the Portuguese discoveries in western Africa during the last quarter of the fifteenth century.

A Reflection of Its Time

This chart is made on a single piece of parchment that measures 60 x 73 cm. It depicts the Atlantic coast from Normandy to the Gulf of Guinea, following the tradition of early nautical charts.

The place names, written in Portuguese, are abundant, and cover the whole coastline. The contrast between the coasts of the Iberian Peninsula, completely covered with toponyms, and those of northwestern Africa, with some blank spaces, indicates that knowledge and exploration of African coasts were still in progress.

We can see two scales of leagues at the left margin of the chart, as well as seven compass roses, one of them, more elaborate, located in northwestern Africa. Several Atlantic archipelagos are visible, such as the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands, and Cape Verde, which are colored in blue, red, and green.

As we can see in other nautical charts, the island of Lanzarote, in the Canaries, is marked by a red cross, perhaps indicating the Genoese flag, with reference to the voyage of the Genoese sailor Lancelotto Malocello, who was the first European to rediscover the island in the fourteenth century.

Both in Africa and Europe, several important cities are portrayed, and a series of flags indicate the Portuguese exploration of Africa during the third quarter of the fifteenth century. Thus, the chart is an interesting document that shows the Portuguese exploration of the Atlantic coast of Africa, which would be a fundamental key in the Age of Discoveries.

This chart is housed in the Biblioteca Estense e Universitaria in Modena, under the shelfmark C.G.A.5.c.

The Mystery of the Author and Date

Neither the author nor the date of creation of the chart is known. Although it is commonly accepted that it is a Portuguese work, scholars do not agree about its date of production.

In 1938, the Portuguese scholar Fontoura da Costa suggested that the chart was made around 1471, arguing that the southernmost place name recorded on it is rio do lago (the Lago River), which was discovered by João de Santarem and Pêro Escobar early that year.

Armando Cortesão did not agree with this theory, arguing that there was no strong evidence that the chart was made immediately after the voyages of Santarem and Escobar.

Some years later, Pinheiro Marqués contended that no astronomical data was used in the drawing of the coast of Guinea; consequently, the chart had to be made before the hydrographical survey of the Gulf of Guinea ordered by King João II in c. 1485. Thus, he proposed that the chart should be dated ca. 1471-82.

We have 3 facsimiles of the manuscript "Portulan C.G.A.5.c":

Request Info / Price
Map description compiled by Kevin R. Wittmann.
Please Read
International social justice movements and the debates that ensued prompted us to start considering the contents of our website from a critical point of view. This has led us to acknowledge that most of the texts in our database are Western-centered. We have asked the authors of our content to be aware of the underlying racial and cultural bias in many scholarly sources, and to try to keep in mind multiple points of view while describing the manuscripts. We also recognize that this is yet a small, first step towards fighting inequality.

If you notice any trace of racist or unjust narratives in our communications, please help us be part of the change by letting us know.

#1 Portolano C.G.A.5.c (map in tube)

Modena: Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte, 2002

+ 6

Portolano C.G.A.5.c (map in tube), Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.c, Facsimile edition by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.
Facsimile edition by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.

+ 6

Portolano C.G.A.5.c (map in tube), Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.c, Facsimile edition by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.
Facsimile edition by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.

+ 6

Portolano C.G.A.5.c (map in tube), Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.c, Facsimile edition by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.
Facsimile edition by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.

+ 6

Portolano C.G.A.5.c (map in tube), Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.c, Facsimile edition by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.
Facsimile edition by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.

+ 6

Portolano C.G.A.5.c (map in tube), Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.c, Facsimile edition by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.
Facsimile edition by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.

+ 6

Portolano C.G.A.5.c (map in tube), Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.c, Facsimile edition by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.
Facsimile edition by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.

+ 6

Portolano C.G.A.5.c (map in tube), Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.c, Facsimile edition by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.
Facsimile edition by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.
  • Commentary (Italian) by Bini, Roberto
  • Full-size color reproduction of the entire original document, Portulan C.G.A.5.c: the facsimile attempts to replicate the look-and-feel and physical features of the original document; pages are trimmed according to the original format; the binding might not be consistent with the current document binding.

Used and new from

€ 520

approx US$ 613


Our Price

More Buying Choices

Request Info

#2 Portolani (set of 3 maps in case, includes C.G.A.5.c)

Modena: Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte, 2004

+ 3

Portolani (set of 3 maps in case, includes C.G.A.5.c), Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.c, Facsimile edition by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.
Facsimile edition by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.

+ 3

Portolani (set of 3 maps in case, includes C.G.A.5.c), Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.c, Facsimile edition by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.
Facsimile edition by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.

+ 3

Portolani (set of 3 maps in case, includes C.G.A.5.c), Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.c, Facsimile edition by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.
Facsimile edition by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.

+ 3

Portolani (set of 3 maps in case, includes C.G.A.5.c), Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.c, Facsimile edition by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.
Facsimile edition by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.
  • Commentary (Italian) by Bini, Roberto
  • Full-size color reproduction of the entire original document, Portulan C.G.A.5.c: the facsimile attempts to replicate the look-and-feel and physical features of the original document; pages are trimmed according to the original format; the binding might not be consistent with the current document binding.

Series of three Portulans stored in case with commentary.

Used and new from

€ 960

approx US$ 1,131


Our Price

More Buying Choices

Request Info

#3 Portolani (set of 3 maps in deluxe wooden case, includes C.G.A.5.c)

Modena: Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte, 2004

+ 7

Portolani (set of 3 maps in deluxe wooden case, includes C.G.A.5, Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.c, Facsimile edition by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.
Facsimile edition by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.

+ 7

Portolani (set of 3 maps in deluxe wooden case, includes C.G.A.5, Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.c, Facsimile edition by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.
Facsimile edition by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.

+ 7

Portolani (set of 3 maps in deluxe wooden case, includes C.G.A.5, Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.c, Facsimile edition by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.
Facsimile edition by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.

+ 7

Portolani (set of 3 maps in deluxe wooden case, includes C.G.A.5, Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.c, Facsimile edition by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.
Facsimile edition by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.

+ 7

Portolani (set of 3 maps in deluxe wooden case, includes C.G.A.5, Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.c, Facsimile edition by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.
Facsimile edition by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.

+ 7

Portolani (set of 3 maps in deluxe wooden case, includes C.G.A.5, Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.c, Facsimile edition by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.
Facsimile edition by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.

+ 7

Portolani (set of 3 maps in deluxe wooden case, includes C.G.A.5, Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.c, Facsimile edition by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.
Facsimile edition by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.

+ 7

Portolani (set of 3 maps in deluxe wooden case, includes C.G.A.5, Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.c, Facsimile edition by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.
Facsimile edition by Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte.
  • Commentary (Italian) by Bini, Roberto
  • Full-size color reproduction of the entire original document, Portulan C.G.A.5.c: the facsimile attempts to replicate the look-and-feel and physical features of the original document; pages are trimmed according to the original format; the binding might not be consistent with the current document binding.

This collection of three ancient portulans, belonging to the Biblioteca Estense, is presented in a walnut showcase, sized 67 × 45 × 14 cm together with the commentary volume, the certificate of authenticity, a wooden-bronze paperweight and a magnifier.

Used and new from

€ 2,400

approx US$ 2,828


Our Price

More Buying Choices

Request Info