Portolan Charts (Douce Atlas)

Oxford, Bodleian Library, Mss Douce 390 and 390*


+39 333 9860 410


Illuminated Facsimiles

Portolan Charts (Douce Atlas)

Oxford, Bodleian Library, Mss Douce 390 and 390*

Alternative titles – Atlante Nautico Veneziano – Venezianischer Nautischer Atlas.
Physical features – Codex on parchment, dimensions 292 x 145 mm, 10 folios mounted on wooden boards.
Binding – Wooden boards bound in codex form, with ivory and wood inlays with geometric motifs. The manuscript is preserved inside a coeval wooden slipcase, with leather outer covering and lined inside with rose-dyed parchment. The leather of the outer covering has floral motif decorations and inscriptions in relief. On the lid are three inscriptions in Gothic characters «in dio uaner ben», «par bon amor» and «per bone respecto».
Region of origin – Italy (Venice).
Dating – Dated early 15th century.
Provenance and present repository- The atlas belonged to the English antiquarian and art collector Francis Douce (b. 1757, d. 1834). Upon his death, Douce left his rich collection to the Bodleian Libray in Oxford, where it can still be found today with the shelfmark Ms Douce 390. The slipcase is preserved together with the atlas with the shelfmark Ms Douce 390*.
Genre – Treatises / Secular books, Geography / Maps.
Content – The manuscript opens with a miniature on two folios depicting the Annunciation (Archangel Gabriel on f. 1v, Mary of Nazareth on f. 2r). This is followed by seven maps: Black Sea (ff. 2v-3r), Eastern Mediterranean (ff. 3v-4r), Middle Eastern Mediterranean (ff. 4v-5r), Adriatic and Ionian Seas (ff. 5v-6r), Western and Central Mediterranean (ff. 6v-7r), Western Mediterranean (ff. 7v-8r), Atlantic Ocean (ff. 8v-9r). The manuscript closes with two full-page miniatures depicting St. Mark (f. 9v) and St. Paul (ff. 9v-10r), recognisable by their iconographic attributes.
Language – Italian.
Script – Littera gotica hybrida.
Illuminator – Maestro della Parousia.
Style – Renaissance.

Data sheet: Illuminated Facsimiles

Niccolò Nicolò di Pietro Paradiso


Publication title – Atlante Nautico Veneziano. Il manoscritto Douce 390 e 390*.
Type of reproduction – Full-size color reproduction of the entire original document.
Publisher – Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana – Treccani (Rome, 2022).
Series – Tesori Svelati.
Limited edition – The edition was produced in 399 copies numbered by hand from 1 to 399. Ten non-sale copies in Roman numeration were reserved for the Publisher.
Certificate of authenticity – The certificate with the copy number is authenticated by Massimo Bray (Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana) and Richard Ovenden (Bodleian Library).
Writing support material – Parchment paper Stucco by Cartiere Fedrigoni.
Printing – The facsimile is printed with stochastic 4-colour screen plus hot gold.
Binding – Solid wood boards with silkscreen printed inlay, Cialux cloth spine cover. Binding corresponding to that of the original manuscript.
Commentary – Commentary volume in Italian, over 100 pages, 27 colour plates. Essays and comments by Andrew Dunning, Piero Falchetta and Valentina Baradel.
Slipcase – Wooden slipcase with leather covering, blind impressions on the plates and lid, extractor ribbon. The case faithfully reproduces the original case with the shelfmark Douce 390* inside which the manuscript Douce 390 is preserved.
ISBN – 978-88-12-01016-5.
The facsimile reproduces as close as possible the physical characteristics of the original document, with the aim to substitute it in the scientific research and in the libraries of the bibliophile collectors. Trimming and composition of the leaves reproduce the profile and structure of the original document.

Copyright photos: Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana – Treccani

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