Portolan Atlas 1547

This book is mental.

Portolan atlas 1547 is as beautiful as they come. Strange beings, means of travel from the farthest stretches of your of your imagination, giants, dragons, kings, and sea beasts.

The photo above is “terra java” or modern Australia, eastern shore.

Some pages I couldn’t believe my eyes, maybe perhaps not wanting to when I saw what looks like an island off the west coast of Australia that I interpreted as beings that eat other beings. Add a “t” to “gean” and we have “island of giants” in latin, but I couldn’t be certain. Even as gruesome of a tale, cartographer Nicholas Vallard, who made this book, still had my admiration.

I’ve heard about these beasts being depicted all over were real not myth. But some say that they were imagined or invented to ward off competitors to get the best trade routes. Ancient conspiracy, can’t get enough of it.


HM 29. Huntington Library, San Marino, CA.

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