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Book on Navigation
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Book on Navigation

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description Originally composed in 932 AH/AD 1525 and dedicated to Sultan Süleyman I ("The Magnificent"), this great work by Piri Reis (d. 962 AH/AD 1555) on navigation was later revised and expanded. Walters manuscript W.658, made mostly in the late 11th century AH/AD 17th, is based on the later expanded version and has some 240 exquisitely executed maps and portolan charts. They include a world map (fol. 41a) with the outline of the Americas, as well as maps of coastlines (bays, capes, peninsulas), islands, mountains, and cities of the Mediterranean basin and the Black Sea. The work starts with the description of the coastline of Anatolia and the islands of the Aegean Sea, the Peloponnese peninsula, and the eastern and western coasts of the Adriatic Sea. It then proceeds to describe the western shores of Italy, southern France, Spain, North Africa, Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, western Anatolia, various islands north of Crete, the Sea of Marmara, Bosporus, and the Black Sea. It ends with a map of the shores of the Caspian Sea (fol. 374a).
Date Description Narrative
9/12/2013Treatmentbinding stabilized; examined for condition; examined for exhibition; media consolidation; repaired; stabilized
  • Expanding World Views: A Millennium of Maps. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2001-2002.
  • Maps: Finding Our Place in the World. The Field Museum, Chicago; The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2007-2008.
  • Poetry and Prayer: Islamic Manuscripts from the Walters Art Museum. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2010.
  • Egypt’s Mysterious Book of the Faiyum. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2013-2014.
  • Pearls on a String: Artists, Patrons, and Poets at the Great Islamic Courts. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Asian Art Museum, San Francisco. 2015-2016.
Provenance Ahmad Afandi [date and mode of acquisition unknown] [see folio 4a]; Ali Afandi [date and mode of acquisiton unknown] [see folio 4a]; Sayyid Ali Qapudan [date and mode of acquisition unknown] [see folio 1a]; Sultan Mahmud Khan [date and mode of acquistion unknown] [waqf seal and followed by a bequest statement (now erased), and the seal of the inspector of wakfs, Mustafá Tahir, see folio 4a]; Henry Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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late 11th century AH/AD 17th century-early 12th century AH/AD 18th century (Ottoman)
ink and pigments on laid European paper bound between boards covered with red leather with gold
(Manuscripts & Rare Books)
Accession Number
Folio H: 13 3/8 x W: 9 7/16 in. (34 x 24 cm); H open in cradle at 0°: 18 1/4 x 14 1/4 x 8 1/2 in. (46.36 x 36.2 x 21.59 cm); H open in cradle at 10°: 18 1/4 x 13 3/4 x 10 in. (46.36 x 34.93 x 25.4 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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