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Facsimile of Paris Gilt Globe, 1528 (Western Hemisphere showing Magellan's route and the new discoveries as part od Asia)

Babur 1526–1530
Stacked Wooden Logs


This hollow sphere is made of copper gilt and very neatly engraved with names and inscriptions (nearly all Latin) in small capitals artistically stamped with a puncheon. The globe bears neither date, name of maker, place of construction, dedication, nor coast of arms, and is unmounted - hanging by a string passed through a hole pierced from pole to pole. The name De Bure Globe is derived from a former owner of the l9th century, the Paris Gilt Globe label results from its present residence and its very bright and gilt surface. Harrisse reports a lesser known label of Burton Globe, also from a former owner.

If it might, for the moment, be assumed that the Gilt Globewas of the year 1528, it would have a claim to the earliest known derived cartographical productions to carry on the Verrazzanian coastal conception. A description of some of its features is of interest. Its American coastline depicts without question the Verrazzano exploration of 1524, but without the large false sea (Slide #333). It displays a coast running uninterruptedly north by east from the tip of Florida to about 60° N where it makes a virtual right-angled change of direction, showing thereafter a long coast stretching almost due east. The apex of this angle lies within an indentation which suggests a river mouth, while in the sea to the south of that feature are placed two sizable islands. Westward of the north by east coast and well in the interior is the legend Terra Francesca nuper lustrata [the Land of Francis lately explored]. This legend represents a grouping of words which strongly indicates at least an acquaintance of the globe maker with Maggiolo's map of 1527 (Slide #329), or with a derivative of it. Maggiolo had been influenced in his turn either by a lost map made by the explorer Verrazzano, or by the latter's own statement in the Cellere Codex annotation in which he wrote of this area that all the land we found was called Francesca after out Francis. Jacques Cartier explored those shores in 1534; but if the words nuper lustrata did refer to his first voyage, the Pacific coast in this most elaborate and detailed globe, would, like the maps of Ribeiro (1529, Slide #332) and others anterior to 1534, mention Tumbez [Peru], a country from which Francisco Pizarro had brought to Spain, in the spring of 1528, most marvellous accounts, immediately printed in Germany and Italy, and vases of solid gold. It should be noted that the designation of Francesca, as applied to the present site of New England, or of New York, was inscribed on maps, and adorned with a French flag, seven years at least before the first expedition of Cartier. Nuper lustrata, therefore according to Harrisse, applies to a French exploration of the northeast coast of America, accomplished before 1527. This exploration can only be the transatlantic voyage of Verrazzano, as no other at or prior to that period under the French flag is known. Nor would the mere fishing expeditions of Normandy or Breton have been acknowledged on maps by a display of the royal standard of France, particularly across the mainland.

The great land area running to the east from the right-angled junction bears the legend BaccaQQahum RQg. It has been assumed that the river mouth where the north by east coast meets the east-running coast is New York Bay, while Baccalearum Reg. is the long coast traversed by Verrazzano from that point to Cape Breton. The coastline thus delineated ends with C.Rasum [Cape Race], the easternmost tip of Newfoundland. There is nothing in Verrazzano's report to Francois I to suggest an extension beyond Cape Breton, though it seems clear from this source that he took his homeward departure from Cape Race.

Across the South American continent there is found inscribed America inventa 1497, which betrays the direct influence of the accounts of the four voyages of Amerigo Vespucci, as published by Martin Waldseemüller in his Cosmographiae Introductio at St. Die in Lorraine in 1507 (Slide #312). What corresponds now with the Peruvian region, exhibits also only one name: Cattigora Prov., which the cartographer doubtless imagined to be American, as is seen in the word Prov(incia) added by him, but which is only a remnant of the Ptolemaic nomenclature. The voyage of Magellan is depicted with a thread-like itinerary, on which, south of Madagascar, is inscribed: Illa linea ex Sibilla dvcia hispanorvm navigationem astwndit. The Gulf of Mexico is called Sinvs S. Michaelis, and the Caribbean Sea, Mare herbidium, evidently on account of the floating beds of seaweeds found in those regions, and already indicated on that sea by Juan de la Cosa, under the designation of Sato de uerbos. The course of the Amazon River is traced to a very long distance, and made to issue in several wide streams from a range of high mountains. To the south, a continuous belt of antarctic lands encompasses the South Pole, and bears the inscription Regio Patalis.

A feature to be noted particularly in this globe is the joining of the New World discoveries with Asia, north of the equator, precisely as they appear on the diminutive hemispheres of Franciscus Monachus (Slide #326), and as has been inferred from Schöner's description of his own globe of 1523, initiated in the latter. This resemblance makes it incumbent on the scholar to ascertain the origin of that peculiar configuration in the Gilt Globe. In other words, was the globe, now lost, which Schöner constructed in 1523 the prototype of the Gilt Globe ?

Harrisse believes that the Gilt Globe is a derivative either of Schöner's globe of 1523, or of one which was constructed by him soon after that date. His opinion is based upon the perfect resemblance existing between the configurations of the Gilt Globe and those on Schöner's globe of 1533, which Harrisse assumes to be mainly a repetition of the lost globe of 1523. Another reason is that the nomenclature on the Gilt Globe is also almost identical with that of Schoner's globe of 1533, from Terra florida to the Regio Patalis (Slide #331). The difference exists only in the names of the northeast coast, where the Lusitana Germanic nomenclature from Florida to Baccalaos is no longer to be seen on the Schöner globe of 1533. It is this omission which prompts one to look for the prototype of the Gilt Globe in an early derivative of Schöner's globe of 1523, rather than in his globe of 1533 itself. The reason is that, when constructing the globe of 1523, Schöner gives us clearly to understand that his new geographical ideas were limited to the regions south of the Tropic of Cancer, and in the west, where he thought that America was joined to Asia; thus making the two worlds only one continental landmass. This, necessarily, led him to connect, on the Atlantic side, the vast countries which he had theretofore depicted as separate (see Schöner's globe of 1520, Slide #323), and to set forth an unbroken line of coasts from Labrador to the Strait of Magellan. But he had no reason, in 1523, for modifying the Lusitano Germanic nomenclature inscribed along the northeastern section. The probablity is, therefore that his globe of 1523 exhibited the configurations and names which we see on the northeast coast of America on the globe of 1533, but that it maintained the Cantinean nomenclature already existing on all of his former globes, which, for motives as yet unexplained, he omitted on his globe of 1533, preferring to delineate a nameless coast.

Be that as it may, the prototype of the Gilt Globe dates from about the year1527, as can be seen from the reference to discoveries accomplished by the French on the northeast coast of America, and which have been shown to be the results of Verrazzano's voyage. The Gilt Globe became the progenitor of an important series of globes and cordiform maps, such as Schöner's globe of 1533, the Nancy Globe of 1535, the Paris Wooden Globe of 1535 (Slide #338), and the single cordiform map of Orontius Finaeus (Slide #362.1). All of these "derivatives", in their overall aspect, North America as an integral part of Asia, forming a vast nonexistent continent which is best designated as Amer-Asia. As with the Gilt Globe, the Atlantic coastline of this continent shows the continuity and general features of North America from Florida to Cape BretonNewfoundland area as traversed and recorded by Verrazzano in 1524, omitting, again, any indication of the false Verrazzanian Sea. Their makers could not, of course, reconcile the existence of a great gulf giving access to Cathay with the fact that Cathay was shown on their productions as an area west of Florida and integral with it, accessible by overland journey from the Atlantic, or more easily, by sea from the Gulf of Mexico. Though they showed the Verrazzano coast they had misunderstood its significance in world geography. Verrazzano had believed and affirmed that his new land was in no sense a part of the Asian continent. The anonymous globe makers, as well as Franciscus Monachus, Orontius Fineaus, and others of the period, presented a direct contradiction to his conclusion as to the separateness of the continents.

The workmanship and gilding of this globe is excellent, and such as might have been executed in Italy, France, or Germany, during the first half of the 16th centuryj but from the formation of the letters, which, as has been mentioned, were punched, and not engraved, scholars are unabled to state positively where it was constructed. A lapsus from the engraver, however, permits us to consider the globe as the work of a German artist. All the names and legends are in the Latin language, with these three exceptions: where we should read, Aquae Pannanicae, Brunsviga and Vindobona, the cosmographer has unconsciously caused the artist to inscribe, in German: Baden, Braunschweig, and Wien.


*Harrisse, H., Discovery of North America, pp. 562-568.
Wroth, L.C.,The Voyages of Giovanni da Verrazzano, 1524-28, pp. 180-182.

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