[A portolan chart of the Atlantic Ocean and adjacent continents].
Also shows the southeast Pacific Ocean, the southwest Indian Ocean, as well as the continents of South America, Africa, Europe, and portions of North America and Asia.
Relief shown pictorially.
Title supplied by cataloger.
LC Nautical charts on vellum, 16.
LC Luso-Hispanic World, Vellum Chart 16
Pen-and-ink, watercolors, and colored pencil, matted and mounted between panels of transparent Lucite plexiglass; the panels are riveted on a rigid frame (102 cm. x 118 cm.).
Includes pictures of a fort, circle of compass roses, flags, insignia, coast-of-arms, and religious figures.
Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as a raster image.
Imperfect: Mended horizontal tears across left edge section, some losses along edges, discoloration throughout, with spotting along west side. Blue paint in lower right corner.
The word portolan comes from the Italian adjective portolano, meaning "related to ports or harbors", or "a collection of sailing directions". Portolan charts are maps based on compass directions and estimated distances observed by the pilots at sea. They were first made in the 13th century in Italy, and later in Spain and Portugal where they considered to be state secrets. The English and Dutch found the description of Atlantic and Indian coastlines extremely valuable for their raiding, and later trading, ships. The oldest survived portolan is the Carta Pisana, dating from approximately 1296 and the oldest preserved Majorcan Portolan chart is the one made by Angelino Dulcert who produced a portolan in 1339.
Ancient Maps from the Library of Congress. 13th -18th Century Maps.