Apographon descriptionis orbis terrae.

Stefano Borgia (*1731 - 1804)
Medieval World Map. Printed by C. J. P. F. Borgia in 1797.

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Reference 12742



The famous Borgia world map. Engraved and printed after the masterwork on 2 heavy plates from the mid-15th century, which was discovered in Portugal in an antique shop and bought by Cardinal Stefano Borgia for his museum in Velletri, and are housed now in the Vatican Library. The purpose and the circulation of this printed version remain still obscure, but it is a valuable collector's item of one of the most interesting early images of the world. Its "workmanship and written explanations make it one of the most precious pieces of the history of cartography" (A. Róna-Tas).

Cardinal Borgia had printed copies made of his prized map. These would have been produced from a cast taken from the original. Only ten of these 18th century prints are thought to be extant. We were able to find this map in the following libraries: Clark Library - University of Michigan, Bibliothèque nationale de France, A.E. Nordenskiöld Collection - National Library of Finland, Det Kgl. Bibliotek - Denmark and in the National Library of Sweden.


CartographerStefano Borgia
TitleApographon descriptionis orbis terrae.
Publisher, YearC. J. P. F. Borgia, 1797
Plate Size63.0 x 63.0 cm (24.8 x 24.8 inches)
Sheet Size75.5 x 68.5 cm (29.7 x 27.0 inches)


Some uneven browning and backing with Japan at 2 vertical and horizontal folds, heavy paper, apparently later color.


Stefano Borgia was a cardinal of the Roman Church who enjoyed Europe-wide fame as a scholar and collector. He expanded the Museo Borgiano founded by his grandfather in his childhood home in Velletri. In 1793 he was elected an honorary member of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences.

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Stefano Borgia: Apographon descriptionis orbis terrae..
Medieval World Map. Printed by C. J. P. F. Borgia in 1797.

World Maps - Borgia, Stefano - Apographon descriptionis orbis terrae.

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