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Portolan Chart of Europe Showing the British Isles part B0

Portolan Chart of Europe Showing the British Isles part B0

Cartographer: Russo, Jacobo

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1550

Shelfmark: Additional 31318-B

Item number: f. 1

Length: 80

Width: 112.7

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Manuscript Map

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This is a portolan chart dating from the 16th century. It is attributed to Jacabo Russo and is thought to have been produced in Messina, Italy. The image of Britain suggests a more precise date of post c.1550 as there seems to be a development in the knowledge of the Welsh coast, notably in the gradual emergence of the Bay of Cardigan. The English arms appear on England and Ireland but not Scotland, reflecting the latter’s independence. The mythical ‘Purgatory of St Patrick’ appears on the west coast of Ireland. This was fabled to be a group of 368 small islands within a large internal lake. The chart is in a typical Catalonian style with much internal detail comprising camels, elephants and palm trees in Africa , figures of individual rulers and corresponding flag

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