Old Maps Collection
[Carte nautique de l'Océan Atlantique, d'une partie de l'Océan Indien et d'une partie de l'Océan Pacifique]
Lasso, Bartolomeu, fl. 1564-1590, dubious author
JPEG 2000, 16500 × 14064, 33MB
Scale not given.
Physical Map Dimension (cm):
85 x 99 cm, on sheet 92 x 102 cm
This nautical chart was once considered Spanish, however all the place names are written in Portuguese just as the continents, tropic lines and seas. According to Cortesão its author is Bartolomeu Lasso because of the similarity in drawing and illustration, specially to the Hatfield chart, however there is some difference in lettering. The chart depicts the coast of Europe, Asia and Africa on the Mediterranean sea and the coasts of America from Labrador to the Magalhães Strait. Because of the cut on the left side the part of North America on the Pacific is missing.
Original is a manuscript map in two parchment sheets, 89 x 40 cm and 89 x 60 cm, mounted 89 x 100 cm. The map is mutilated on the left side having been torn irregularly and it must have extended as far as California.
Portuguese coat of arms can be seen in Africa and both North and South America. In Europe are depicted the coat of arms of Spain, France and another one unidentified. There is one from Castella on the southend tip of South America but on the same territory there is also lion caring a flag, representing León. In Africa it can be seen the Elmina Castle -erected by the Portuguese in 1482 as Castelo de São Jorge da Mina, the first trading post built on the Gulf of Guinea, and the oldest European building south of the Sahara- sided by palm trees. Angola is illustrated with a church and Mozambique with a castle. Jerusalem is marked with a Calvary above a city. North America is illustrated with some buildings surrounded by trees. On South America Lima, Chile, Buenos Aires and one marked 'Nueus Reine' [?] are marked with buildings representations. There are eight 32-point compass roses on the map, one of them being only half compass rose. The two bigger compass roses have a fleur de lis indicating north with all the others, except the half compass rose, have a star. All of them are colored red, blue, yellow and green. The rhumb lines for the principal winds are black, for the half-winds green and for the quarter-winds red.
There are three table of leagues on the map, one cut in half on the missing part of the map on the left side. Each one is illustrated differently, the one in Africa has scroll work elements, the one next to Brazil has an armillary sphere on top, and the incomplete one had phytomorphic elements.
Relief shown pictorially.
Equator line and Tropic lines colored red.
Land masses outlined in green with islands colored blue, red, green and gold.
Latitude line cut in half in the Equator line. The north side is closer to the American continent, crossing part of the 'Terra de Labrador' and south is right in the middle of South America and Africa. Another small line on the west side of South America.
Place names in black with most important ones in red.
Outlined in yellow border.
Cortesão, A. Portugaliae Monumenta Cartographica, vol. 3, p. 95-96
Foncin, M. Catalogue des cartes nautiques sur vélin conservées au Département des cartes et plans, n.º 83, p. 123-124
Pflederer, R. Census of Portolan Charts & Atlases, p. 46
Bibliothèque Nationale de France
Provenance Call No.:
GE B-1204 (RES)