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

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

Used and new from

520

approx US$ 613


Our price

More Buying Choices

Request Info

This anonymous and undated manuscript chart is an interesting reflection of late medieval cartography in southern Europe. It is believed that it was made in Mallorca in the mid-fifteenth century, and it shows the Mediterranean coast, as well as northern Africa, part of northern Europe, and the British Isles. With abundant place names over the coastlines of the continents, the chart includes also rich artistic decoration, with depictions of important European and African cities, mountains and rivers, as well as various flags and coats of arms.

The abundance of rhumb lines, the accuracy in the depiction of the continents and the different figures represented in the chart make it a remarkable example of fifteenth-century portolan charts, one of the most important cartographic traditions of late medieval southern Europe, which helps us to understand the transition between the Middle Ages and the Modern period.

Between Real and Imaginary Geographies

This chart is made on parchment, and measures 59 x 76 cm. It depicts the Mediterranean basin, as well as part of Europe and the eastern Atlantic. The southernmost point represented in the chart is Cape Bojador on the coast of western Africa, which was not rounded until the voyage of the Portuguese mariner Gil Eanes in 1434. In fact, the lack of information about those southern limits of the world is indicated by the blank spaces on the west African coastline.

In Africa, a large green band represents the Atlas Mountains, following the formal tradition of late medieval nautical charts, and a series of cities and rivers are also portrayed. We can also see various rulers and kings in Africa, one of them representing the mythical Prester John, who was believed to rule over a utopic Christian land in eastern Africa.

In the eastern limit of the continent, we can see the Red Sea colored with an intense red, and an inscription indicates the passing of the Hebrews through that sea during the Exodus. Thus, the chart combines geographical and religious references.

As is customary in medieval and early modern maps, an interesting coexistence of real and imaginary places is visible in this chart. Thus imaginary references like Prester John, the Atlantic island of Brazil, and the Lacus fortunatus (Fortunate Lake) in western Ireland are portrayed with the same level of reality as other places like European cities. This is a graphical reflection of the malleability of the line between real and imaginary geographies in late medieval mindset.

In Europe, the major cities, such as Granada, Santiago de Compostela, Genoa, and Venice are portrayed, and mountain ranges like the Sierra Nevada in southern Spain and the Alps in Central Europe are also depicted in green.

Several flags and coats of arms indicate the sovereignty of different kingdoms, and a series of heads representing the winds are symmetrically located near the northern and southern edges of the chart.

This chart is held in the Biblioteca Estense e Universitaria in Modena, under the shelfmark C.G.A.5.d.
Portolan Charts.

A New Way of Representing Space

Very little is known about this chart. It is believed that it was made in Mallorca in the mid-fifteenth century, but the lack of information about its authorship, date, and provenance does not impede us to consider it a very interesting example of late medieval portolan charts.

The portolan charts (portolani in Italian) are nautical representations centered on the Mediterranean basin, produced in the late medieval and modern period. The first known example of this type of map is the so-called Carta Pisana, produced in the late thirteenth century. As Tony Campbell has argued, these works are the clearest statement of the geographic and cartographic knowledge available in the Mediterranean at the time.

The less elaborately decorated examples were intended for practical use in navigation, whereas the more lavishly decorated charts, like this one, were produced for collection and displayed by nobles for their enjoyment as pieces of art.

They are usually oriented to the north, and the outlines of the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts are remarkably accurate. As the knowledge of the world increased, portolan charts came to represent broader spaces, and, given their accuracy and utility, they were fundamental artifacts for the expansion of the known world in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

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

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.d (map in tube)

Modena: Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte, 2002

+ 8

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

+ 8

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

+ 8

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

+ 8

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

+ 8

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

+ 8

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

+ 8

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

+ 8

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

+ 8

Portolano C.G.A.5.d (map in tube), Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.d, 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.d: 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.d)

Modena: Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte, 2004

+ 3

Portolani (set of 3 maps in case, includes C.G.A.5.d, Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.d, 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.d, Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.d, 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.d, Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.d, 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.d, Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.d, 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.d: 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.d)

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.d − Photo 1
Portolani (set of 3 maps in deluxe wooden case, includes C.G.A.5, Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.d − Photo 1

+ 7

Portolani (set of 3 maps in deluxe wooden case, includes C.G.A.5, Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.d − Photo 2
Portolani (set of 3 maps in deluxe wooden case, includes C.G.A.5, Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.d − Photo 2

+ 7

Portolani (set of 3 maps in deluxe wooden case, includes C.G.A.5, Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.d − Photo 3
Portolani (set of 3 maps in deluxe wooden case, includes C.G.A.5, Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.d − Photo 3

+ 7

Portolani (set of 3 maps in deluxe wooden case, includes C.G.A.5, Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.d − Photo 4
Portolani (set of 3 maps in deluxe wooden case, includes C.G.A.5, Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.d − Photo 4

+ 7

Portolani (set of 3 maps in deluxe wooden case, includes C.G.A.5, Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.d − Photo 5
Portolani (set of 3 maps in deluxe wooden case, includes C.G.A.5, Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.d − Photo 5

+ 7

Portolani (set of 3 maps in deluxe wooden case, includes C.G.A.5, Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.d − Photo 6
Portolani (set of 3 maps in deluxe wooden case, includes C.G.A.5, Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.d − Photo 6

+ 7

Portolani (set of 3 maps in deluxe wooden case, includes C.G.A.5, Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.d − Photo 7
Portolani (set of 3 maps in deluxe wooden case, includes C.G.A.5, Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.d − Photo 7

+ 7

Portolani (set of 3 maps in deluxe wooden case, includes C.G.A.5, Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.d − Photo 8
Portolani (set of 3 maps in deluxe wooden case, includes C.G.A.5, Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, C.G.A.5.d − Photo 8
  • Commentary (Italian) by Bini, Roberto
  • Full-size color reproduction of the entire original document, Portulan C.G.A.5.d: 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