Nautical charts with numerous place-names along coastlines.
Depths shown by soundings.
Title from citation in Philip Lee Phillips' A list of geographical atlases, p. 246.
Most maps in Dutch; text and titles in Dutch, French, English, or Latin on some maps.
Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as a raster image.
LC copy annotated in pencil on some maps. Each double page map glued to the following map, with the first and last pages backed by blue paper.
LC copy bound in red leather.
Copy imperfect: spine and front board loose, some maps vertically fold-lined at center and taped.
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.