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Walfisch, from Munster's Cosmographia
Named collection: Allan Forbes Collection
Object type: woodcut
Maker: Petri, Heinrich
Place made: Switzerland, Basel-Stadt, Basel
Date made: 1574
Materials: ink; laid paper
Measurements: 7 1/2 in x 12 in
Page from Munster's Cosmographia, with woodcut of an unhappy-looking man whose arms and head hang from the mouth of a giant fish identified in the German text as a whale. Above is a woodcut with a coat of arms containing a lion with axe and crown. The part of the text describing the whale translates approximately to: "There is also, in the Norwegian country, a strong, big, fish. It is called Balenas in Latin, and Walfisch in German. They have been found to be more than 100 ells (elenbogen, lit. elbows, English equiv. is the ell; a measuring unit) long. "