Cosmographical Map or Universal Description of the World with the Actual Path of the Winds
This world map, made in Dieppe, northern France, in 1570, is thought to be the only extant map by Jean Cossin (also seen as Jehan and Johan Cossin), a hydrographer from Dieppe known in his time as an excellent maker of marine maps. It is entitled Carte cosmographique ou universelle description du monde avec le vrai traict des vents (Cosmographical map or universal description of the world with the actual path of the winds). The map is framed on an original projection, known as sinusoidal, in which the meridians are sinusoids and the parallels the equidistant straight lines divided into equal parts by the meridians. After the Flemish cartographer Gerardus Mercator (1512–94), Cossin was only the second mapmaker to employ this complex projection. The map reflects its maker’s considerable knowledge of mathematics, but it was of limited practical interest or use for sailors. It shows a vast southern continent that unfurls from Tierra del Fuego, and that was hypothesized as an essential counterbalance to the lands of the northern hemisphere. The map is enclosed in a large frame that presents the signs of the zodiac along the left side and the climates along the right. In the banners that fill out the four corners between the map and the edge are listed the title, the author's name, and the date and place of production.
Title in Original Language
Carte cosmographique ou universelle description du monde avec le vrai traict des vents
Type of Item
1 map: manuscript. Color, on vellum, 25 x 43 centimeters
Last updated: February 12, 2016