Oldest Earth Globe with America, by Leonardo Da Vinci: Expert

The oldest globe with the representation of a part of America, is the work of Leonardo da Vinci, dates from 1504 and was made with ostrich eggs, said this Friday in Rome its discoverer and owner, the Belgian Stefaan Missinne.

The expert presented this object at an event in the Belgian embassy before the Holy See and, asked Efe as to whether he was sure it was by Leonardo, given the many works in circulation attributed to the genius, he replied: “One hundred percent.”

Missinne came across this sphere in 2012 at an event in Londons from Royal Geographical Society, when someone – who did not identify – told him that he had a globe “from the nineteenth century” in which, however, the American continent did not fully figure.

“I replied that I wanted to see it, he showed it to me and it took me five minutes to decide that I wanted to buy it,” recalls the collector, while holding a replica of his most coveted piece.

So he bought it – for a price he refused to reveal – put it safely in Austria and then studied it for six years, determining that the author was Leonardo and publishing his findings in his book The Da Vinci Globe (2018), edited by the independent house “Cambridge Scholars Publishing”.

The object, which fits into the palm of a hand, is made with the flattest half of two ostrich eggs and on its surface the part of the world that was known and even part of America, only twelve years after the discovery of the continent, in 1492.

The drawing is practically the same as the one that appears on the copper Lenox globe, kept in the New York Library and considered one of the oldest in the world.

The sphere shows Europe, part of Asia and Africa and also South America, and even the meridian of the Treaty of Tordesillas, which in 1494 divided the area of ​​Spanish and Portuguese influence.

The American subcontinent appears partially and on it can be read “New World (New world, in Latin), so Missinne calculates that it is the globe that previously represented this earth.

Why is the work by Da Vinci?

The expert reviews the reasons that lead him to believe that this work for him “of incalculable value” was made by the genius.

First of all, note that it was made by someone left handed and was etched with an alloy with arsenic with which he maintained the reddish color of metals such as copper.

In addition, the collector points out that the sphere respects in its scale (1: 80,000.0000) the ccalculation that da vinci it was then the diameter of the Earth, 7 thousand nautical miles.

On the other hand, Missinne claims to have found a sketch of this map in the “Codex Leicester“, a compendium of his British Library manuscripts, which until now was believed to represent the moon.

As well as an entry from 1504 in the “Codex Atlantic“which reads” My world map with Giovanni Benci “, interpreting it as a reminder of the teacher so that he would not forget to retrieve this object.

Finally, the collector adds that another proof that pushes him to support Leonardo’s authorship is that the globe is not finished, true to his reputation as a restless intellectual: there are no names of the oceans, parallels or meridians, something essential. for the sphere was, in theory, “a scientific object.”


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