TITLE: Verrazano Globe
DATE: 1530
AUTHOR: Robert de Bailly
DESCRIPTION: This has been described as "one of the finest metal globes of the period", due to the perfect preservation of its delicately engraved surface and the interest of its cartographic features. The stand, ornamented with lions' heads and with ball and claw feet, recalls the globe-mountings represented in the woodcuts of Schöner's books (Slide # 323).

The delineation of North America records the results of of the explorations carried out by Giovanni da Verrazano for Francis I in 1524. Among other things, it reflects Verazano's conception of a large gulf penetrating the western coast of North America. There were skeptics among the 19th century historians who denied the authenticity of Verrazano's voyage of 1524. These scholars persisted in the belief that no vestige remained in French written records, or in cartographical representation, that supported the achievements of this explorer. This negation is controverted by the circumstances of publication, content and configuration of the Fine maps (Slide # 342) and their derivatives of the period 1531 to 1566 and later. Another and earlier cartographical assertion of contemporary French knowledge of the voyage of Verrazano is this engraved copper globe by Bailly.

Only a year after the Gerolamo de Verrazano map (Slide # 333) was made, Robert de Bailly constructed a copper globe known today in three examples, signed "Robertus Bailly 1530". According to Wroth, these must be regarded as a contemporary French contribution to the new American cartography brought into being by the voyage of 1524. One of these globes is in the Bibliotheque Nationale (Paris); another, indentified by Marcel Destombes, is in the Museo Lazaro Galdiano (Madrid); and the third, is in the Pierpont Morgan Library (New York). The significance of the Bailly Globe was first brought to the attention of modern scholars when in 1899 it was offered for sale by Ludwig Rosenthal of Munich. Accompanying the description of the globe was an admirable representation of its constituent gores shown on a plane surface (Slide #335A). A photographic reproduction of the North American section in a fan-like disposition of the gores was an interesting feature of the description of the globe in the Rosenthal catalogue. This example of what is sometimes called the Verrazano Globe was bought directly from Rosenthal in 1912 by J. Pierpont Morgan, possibly because of the close relationship this globe bears to the annotated Verrazano narrative in the Cellere Codex also acquired by Morgan.

Examination of the Bailly Globe of 1530 suggests its dependence both in nomenclature and configuration upon the map drawn by Gerolamo de Verrazano the year before. This cartographer had given a choice of two names to the North American discoveries of his brother: Nova Gallia sive Iucatanet, or Verrazano sive nova gallia. Bailly chose to call the country Verrazana, a name not found in his other possible sources, that is, the 1527 map of Maggiolo where the new North American world is called Francesca, or in the Gilt Globe of 1528 (Slide #331.1) where it is similarly designated. Therefore, Wroth believes that Bailly was more influenced by the Varrazano map than by that of Maggiolo. Besides the choice of the name, the shape and directional trend of the coastline of the supposed Sea of Verrazano, the great bight formed by the Pacific invasion of the continent, are as drawn by Gerolamo da Verrazano rather than as it is portrayed by Maggiolo. Additionally, the location of the globe of the southern beginning of the Sea of Verrazzano at the 40° of the Gerolamo map (Slide #333).

The Bailly Globe, or globes, of 1530 may be thought of as having affirmed in France, and elsewhere perhaps, the Verrazanian concept, its correctness as well as its error, of the eastern coast of North America.

Locations: Bibliotheque Nationale (Paris)
Museo Lazaro Galdiano (Madrid)
Pierpont Morgan Library (New York)

Size: 14 cm [5.5 inches] diameter

*Brown, L.A., The World Encompassed, #60, Plate XIX
*Stevenson, E.L., Terrestrial and Celestrial Globes, vol. I, p. 106, Figure 53
*Wroth, L.C., The Voyages of Giovanni da Verrazano, 1524-28 , pp. 186-188, Plates 28, 29


Index of Renaissance Maps