Navigation

Hereford Mappa Mundi ~ Rare 1869 facsimile

Return to Previous Page
Description

Product Description

 Extremely rare lithographed large size facsimile of the famous c. 1300 Hereford Mappa Mundi. Produced in London in 1869, by Stanford. It was reported by Rev. F.T. Havergal in the Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists’ Field Club for 1870 (p. 253) that only 50 or 60 subscribers had committed to purchase it, which makes this an extremely rare and valuable facsimile of the largest medieval world map that survived into the 21st century. It depicts 420 towns, 15 Biblical events, 33 animals and plants, 32 people, and five scenes from classical mythology.

Jerusalem is drawn at the centre of the circle, east is on top, showing the Garden of Eden in a circle at the edge of the world. Great Britain is drawn at the northwestern border. Curiously, the labels for Africa and Europe are reversed, with Europe scribed in red and gold as ‘Africa’, and vice versa. The map is based on traditional accounts and earlier maps such as the one of the Beatus of Liébana codex, and is very similar to the Ebstorf map, the Psalter world map, and the Sawley (erroneously for considerable time called “Henry of Mainz”) map. It does not correspond to the geographical knowledge of the 13th century. Note, for example, that the Caspian Sea connects to the encircling ocean (upper left); this is in spite of William of Rubruk’s having reported it to be landlocked in 1255, i.e. several decades before the map’s creation; see also Portolan chart. The “T and O” shape does not imply that its creators believed in a flat Earth.

The spherical shape of the Earth was already known to the ancient Greeks and Romans and the idea was never entirely forgotten even in the Middle Ages, and thus the circular representation may well be considered a conventional attempt at a projection (looking down on a sphere): in spite of the acceptance of a spherical Earth, only the known parts of the Northern Hemisphere were believed to be inhabitable by human beings (see antipodes), so that the circular representation remained adequate. The long river on the far right is the River Nile, too, and the T shape is established by the Mediterranean Sea and the rivers Don and Nile. It is the first map to mention the Faroe Islands.

The Hereford Mappa Mundi hung, little regarded, for many years on a wall of a choir aisle in the cathedral. During the troubled times of the Interregnum, 1649 – 1660, the map had been laid beneath the floor of Bishop Audley’s Chantry where it remained secreted for some time. In 1855 it was cleaned and repaired at the British Museum. During the Second World War, the Mappa Mundi and other valuable manuscripts from Hereford Cathedral Library were kept elsewhere in safety and returned to the collection in 1946. In 1988, a financial crisis in the Diocese of Hereford caused the Dean and Chapter to propose selling the Mappa Mundi. After much controversy, large donations from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, Paul Getty and members of the public kept the map in Hereford and allowed the construction of a new library to house the map and the chained libraries from the Cathedral and All Saints’ Church. The new Library Building in the southeast corner of the Cathedral opened in 1996.

Condition: Good, some small worns on the edges.

Measures: 1800 x 1520 mm.
Year: 1872
Inventory No. M2428

Price: On request

Product Enquiry

Product Enquiry

Related Products

The World in Twin Hemispheres ~ c. 1870

The World in Twin Hemispheres .  An mid- 19th century original outline colour German map with an interesting presentation of the world in twin hemispheres superimposed over an inset “Theil von Australien” of the South...

World Map (Pieter van der Aa c.1713)

World Map (Pieter van der Aa c.1713) MAPPE MONDE, Suivant les Nouvelles Obfervations de Measrs. De l’Academie Royale/des Sciences, etc. Augumentées de Nouveau A. LEIDE Chez PIERRE VANDER AA. Avec Privilege. A very attractive and relatively rare early 18th century hand-coloured twin...

Twin-Hemisphere World Map, c.1657

Twin-Hemisphere World Map, c.1657 Twin-Hemisphere World Map (Nicolaus Visscher) c.1657 ORBIS TERRARUM TYPUS DE INTEGRO IN PLURIMIS EMENDATUS, AUCTUS, ET ICUNCULIS ILLUSTRATUS Auct. Nicolaus/Ioā Viffehero This fine mid-17th century twin-hemisphere world map in old colour...

DESCRIPTIO HYDROGRAPHICA ~ Year 1599 ~ SOLD

DESCRIPTIO HYDROGRAPHICA accommodate ad Battavorum navagatione in Javam infulam Indie Orien: talis. Laetam ad quam poftridie Calendis Aprilis ann 1595 ex Hollan dia folverunt et ex qua domum redierunt Idus Augufti anno 1597 Horum extus,...

Carte Generale du Monde by DuVal 1676 ~ SOLD

Planisphere, ou Carte Generale du Monde…” Pierre DuVal 1676 Duval’s double-hemisphere map generally follows Sanson’s world map of 1660 with the exception of the representation of Australia. Nouvelle Holande is depicted in an unusual and less accurate...

MAPPE MONDE c.1724 ( Guillaume Delisle )

MAPPE MONDE c.1724 ( Guillaume Delisle ) MAPPE MONDE a l’usage du ROY Par Guillaume Delisle Premier Geographe de S.M. A very attractive early to mid-18th century twin hemisphere map of the world in original...

Carte des Indes Orientales, P. Du Val 1665 ~ SOLD

Carte des Indes Orientales, P. Du Val 1665 Carte des Indes Orientales. Par P. Du Val Geographe Ordinaire du Roy. Very rare and important 17th Century map of the Indian Ocean. This elegantly composed map...

L’ANCIEN MONDE, c.1785

L’ANCIEN MONDE, c.1785 L’ANCIEN MONDE ET LE NOUVEAU/EN DEUX HEMISPHERES./Par M. Bonne Ingenieur Hydrogr.phe/de la Marine.   A fine late 18th century French black and white medium-sized twin hemisphere map showing the ‘old world and...

Map of the Ancient World, Ptolemy

Map of the Ancient World, Ptolemy VNIVERSALIS TABVLA IVXTA PTOLEMAEUM, (Map of the Ancient World, Ptolemy) An attractive early 18th century map of the ancient world according to Claudius Ptolemy in original hand colour from...

Mappe Monde 1782

Mappe Monde 1782 Mappe-Monde or description du globe Terrestre (S. Janvier, 1782) Coloured and in very good condition, fold in middle. Size: 31 x 45 cm (passe partout: 45,5 x 60 cm) Purchase code: LM14041...
Back to top