A box for going to sea?

A box for going to sea?
Accession number: 
MSS. Douce 390, 390*
Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford

The parchment pages of this portolan atlas of the Mediterranean, produced in Venice around 1400, were pasted onto the pages of a wooden codex whose outer boards are inlaid with ivory and coloured woods. The atlas was kept within a wooden carrying case covered with leather which is elaborately incised with floral decoration and inscriptions, and with side compartments for instruments. The codex and case were designed to protect the charts when taken to sea, but the rich materials and near-perfect condition suggest that this de-luxe example was never intended for seafaring use.

Manuscript: 292 x 145 x 36 mm
Box: 299 x 183 x 52 mm

Manuscript: 810 g
Box: 582 g
Box and manuscript: 1.4 kg

Bequeathed by Francis Douce, 1834