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Portolan Chart of Europe Showing the British Isles

Portolan Chart of Europe Showing the British Isles

Cartographer: Unknown

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1530

Shelfmark: Additional MS 17539

Item number: f. 1

Length: 75

Width: 119

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Manuscript Map

The author of this chart is unknown. In the neck is an apparently false inscription: "Bartolomeus Colombus 1493 de Genoa". It can be judged to be false as the script is 19th century, [the form of the name], the cartographic content is not accurate for the supposed date as the Christian Cross appears on Malta. Scotland is an island but mountains in red and green seem to extend into England. The arms of England, Ireland and Scotland reflect that at this date Scotland was under separate rule. The [fantastical islands of Scotland] are shown, [possibly the lochs]. Crosses around the east coast of England indicate rocks, a peril to ships. London, is indicated in red ink, as are other important ports, corresponding to the Venetian tradition. The Thames in indicated by a grey ink line. The mythical purgatory of St Patrick is included in Ireland, a large internal loch with dozens of small island within it. The overall style of this chart derives from the Catalan tradition, showing settlements and flags. The date of this chart can be estimated to a date of post 1500 by the appearance of the figure of the Virgin in the neck section of the vellum. In the post 1500 era the emphasis on the area of the Mediterranean in the portolan charts in increased and the rest of the world seems to be of secondary importance.

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