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The Kraus Map Collection


Globes VI, Coronelli Terrestrial Globe (1688)

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Title   Coronelli Terrestrial Globe
Cartographer   Coronelli, Vincenzo (1650 - 1718)
Subject   Globes, Terrestrial
Publisher   Not identified
Repository   Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
Place of publication
     or creation
Date(s)   1688
Format   Globe
Kraus catalog no.   Globes VI
Dimensions in mm.   1400 x 1420 mm, diameter 1100 mm.
Rights   No known U.S. copyright restrictions. Please cite the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin, as the image source.


Coronelli (1650-1718) was a member of the Minorite Conventual (Franciscan) Order – later in life (1701) he rose to the Generalship of his Order. His Venetian convent became, under his leadership, a publishing center where hundreds of maps were drawn, engraved, and printed; and there he founded the first geographical society, who were the publishers of many of his works.

Coronelli made a determined effort to secure and publish the most up to date information available concerning the many “blank spaces” of the Earth still unexplored in his day. His depiction of the course of the Zambesi River, for instance, is the first to attain any accuracy; it is certain that he must have had access on this area to Portugese documents or maps which are not now extant. An interesting feature is the inclusion of the tracks of important voyages and trade routes. The track of a voyage from Brest to Siam, 1686, is given in detail; also the usual convoy route to the West Indies from Cadiz (and return) is given.

Aesthetically, the Coronelli globe of 1688 is without rival in the richness of its supplementary illustrative material such as the depiction of the characteristic ships, canoes, and other vessels of the peoples of the earth. Coronelli was a recognized expert on naval construction, and such pictures of ships are to be found also in his Atlante Veneto of 1690. Large marine animals are also depicted, realistically drawn, without the fantastic and fabulous elements found on earlier maps and globes. A splendid, purely decorative, cartouche found on the south Indian ocean area includes a portrait of the author.

A larger, unique set of the celestial and terrestrial globes is displayed at the Bibliothèque Nationale François Mitterrand in Paris; another pair of the smaller globes is at the Library of Congress and a terrestrial globe may be found at Texas Tech University in Lubbock.