Juan de la Cosa map


Juan de la Cos map from the year 1500

The original parchment of this map or chart, a piece of ox-hide measuring 37.5 x 72 inches (96 X 183 cm), superbly illustrated in ink and water colors, was found in 1832 in a shop in Paris by Baron Walckenaer, a bibliophile and the Dutch Ambassador, and was brought to the attention of the world the following year by Alexander Humboldt, the famous German scholar. Upon the death of Baron Walckenaer in 1853 the map was purchased by the Queen of Spain, and though greatly deteriorated, is now the chief treasure of the Museo Naval in Madrid.

When Napoleon invaded Rome in 1810, a portion of the vast Secret Archives of the Vatican were taken to Paris for a world library that Napoleon planned to build. After his defeat, many of the documents were taken back to Rome but many were left behind. This map was one of the priceless items left behind and ended up in a Paris bookshop. (Ambrosini, The Secret Archives of the Vatican, p. 291).

 

 

Juan de la Cosa map


Juan de la Cos map from the year 1500

The original parchment of this map or chart, a piece of ox-hide measuring 37.5 x 72 inches (96 X 183 cm), superbly illustrated in ink and water colors, was found in 1832 in a shop in Paris by Baron Walckenaer, a bibliophile and the Dutch Ambassador, and was brought to the attention of the world the following year by Alexander Humboldt, the famous German scholar. Upon the death of Baron Walckenaer in 1853 the map was purchased by the Queen of Spain, and though greatly deteriorated, is now the chief treasure of the Museo Naval in Madrid.

When Napoleon invaded Rome in 1810, a portion of the vast Secret Archives of the Vatican were taken to Paris for a world library that Napoleon planned to build. After his defeat, many of the documents were taken back to Rome but many were left behind. This map was one of the priceless items left behind and ended up in a Paris bookshop. (Ambrosini, The Secret Archives of the Vatican, p. 291).