The Hunt-Lenox Globe is recognized not only as one of the earliest surviving terrestrial globes, but also as one of the oldest known cartographic depictions of the Americas—specifically, the islands of Cuba and Hispaniola, along with the South American continent, which is assigned various regional names such as “Mundus Novus” and “Terra Brazil.”
The globe is one of only two medieval or Renaissance-era maps or globes known to bear the famous motto Hic Sunt Dracones, or “Here be dragons.” While today this phrase connotes images of the unknown, it may have originally referenced the Komodo dragons that inhabit portions of the Indonesian archipelago. Originally purchased in France during the 1850s by the noted American architect Richard Morris Hunt, the globe was subsequently gifted to James Lenox, whose library was one of the founding collections of The New York Public Library.
Currently on View at Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
No copyright: United States