Scarf of the moment: Cosmographia Universalis

As details of Hermès new Autumn/Winter 2019 scarves started to appear online a few weeks ago, I really didn’t think that I would purchase anything. Nothing really “sang” to me. I didn’t love any of them!

But, then the magic of Hermès began to work, as it always has since I first fell down the orange slippery slope. I began to see modelling photos, particularly on The Purse Forum, of the range of colourways as the new season scarves and shawls became available in boutiques and on websites around the world. I hit the “purchase” button last week and this lovely new scarf, Cosmographia Universalis designed by Jan Bajtlik, arrived on my doorstep.

My colourway of the scarf is #05 in bleu jean, rose vif, marine:

Cosmographia Universalis by Jan Bajtlik for Hermès


It is difficult to describe this complex pattern and do it full justice! Like Bajtlik’s design for last season, Animalopolis, the scarf is a riot of colour and activity. Cosmographia Universalis appears to have a river, or lake, in the centre surrounded by mountains, volcanoes, all kinds of amazing architecture and dreamlike, mythological landscapes. Amazing beasts and people move between trees and plants, boats glide across the water, fantastical creatures appear and Bajtlik’s dog sleeps peacefully amongst the riot. This scarf is such fun. Who could look at it without a smile?

The colours in #05 are glorious. A deep fuchsia pink for the contrast rolled hem and across  the design, toning and clashing pinks from cerise to pale rose, a range of blues from navy to sky, touches of white on stylised waves, and some elements are picked out in brown.

Look out for humour and surprises, I have already mentioned the dog. The famous Hermès horse and carriage appear on a bridge, water cascades from a horse’s mouth (horses are everywhere), a water snake (Nessie?) swims in the lake, people climb the mountains, squid fly out of a volcano! A peaceful moon looks down on it all. What else can you find? You could spend an hour looking at this scarf!


These are the colourways for the Autumn/Winter 2019 silk twill 90cm scarves. I have added in the codes to help those of you who wish to purchase this scarf, please click on the images below to see them:

And here we have the colourways of the Spring/Summer 2020 140cm cashmere/silk  shawls. To see the purchasing codes, please click on the scarf images:

Design story

Sebastian Münster was a cartographer, historian, astronomer, mathematician and scholar of Hebrew. His work, Cosmographia Universalis, was first published in Germany in 1544 and became one of the most widely-read books of the 16th century. When Jan Bajtlik discovered an original edition of the book in a library in Poland, he was fascinated by its vision of a world made up of myths and legends. His scarf depicts an imaginary landscape that combines architecture with fauna and flora. Taking the seahorses, sea monsters and pyramids of the Cosmographia as his models, he creates a dreamlike world teeming with extraordinary beasts.


Here are some closeups of my scarf in a slideshow format:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

How I wear the scarf

I have only made two Outfit of the Day collages for this scarf, so far, but will add more as I continue to wear it. With my wardrobe, I intend to pair it with navy and blue, and navy with bright pink, as below, and also with cobalt blue, white and perhaps a paler pink. I think the scarf in this particular colourway will work well across the seasons as, although it is a cool weather design, it looks fine here with my Summer clothing because it has such vivid and rich colours.

Outfit of the day 08/09/19 with Hermès’ Cosmographia Universalis scarf

Outfit of the day 12/07/19 with Hermès’ Cosmographia Universalis scarf

Scarf ties

These are a few quick ties that I made to show the details and colours of the scarf. As it was brand new, the silk was crisp and rather stiff, so I haven’t yet tried more flowing ties such as the waterfall knot. I feel that more casual ties probably suit the nature of the design better anyway.

Cosmographia Universalis – scarf ties

1) Top row L to R: basic bias fold, casual knot, basic bias fold using alternate diagonal.
2) Middle row L to R: casual knot using alternate diagonal, half-bow knot using MaiTai mother-of-pearl scarf ring, asymmetric wrap.
3) Bottom row L to R: cowboy cowl knot, casual knot using scarf folded into a triangle, drape knot to show off the scarf details.

Background information

I have found some information about Sebastian Münster and his original Cosmographia Universalis:

Cosmographia (Sebastian Münster)
Short article about the Cosmographia itself. There are several external links you could follow if you are interested.

Sebastian Münster
Article about the author of the original Cosmographia.

I cannot find a great deal of information about the designer of the scarf, Jan Bajtlik, unfortunately. You could find him on Twitter and Instagram, if you wish.

Jan Bajtlik
Biography of the designer on his own site. You can see his previous designs for Hermès on here plus other works.

Jan Bajtlik
Article about the designer from Polish Wikipedia, in Polish.

I hope readers have found this exploration of Cosmographia Universalis both interesting and useful. Once again, if you find any errors or have any additional information that I could add, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Best wishes,



  • 12/07/19 to add another Outfit of the Day collage.
  • 28/12/19 to add Spring/Summer 2020 140cm shawl colourways.

About The Librain

Retired School Librarian
This entry was posted in Scarf of the moment, Scarves, Wardrobe and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Scarf of the moment: Cosmographia Universalis

  1. Cari says:

    Thank you so much for posting this! I love your in-depth scarf showcases.


  2. Quyen says:

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience on Hermes scarves. I’ glad to have found your blog while searching for information to help me buy my first H scarf!
    Which scarf from this season would you say is a timeless/classic 90cm square scarf ?
    The H website offers so many choices its a bit overwhelming and I really want a scarf that is versatile and timeless. I adore the Cles, Ex-Libris, Springs and Parures De Samourais, but they’re no longer available, and I don’t live near a store to try out..
    Thanks so so much!


    • The Librain says:

      I am sorry that it has taken me so long to reply, but I have been thinking about how to answer you! Scarf buying is such a personal thing, in my opinion. I tend to fall for a pattern I like and then choose the colourway. Sometimes it’s the other way round! I don’t think I can really advise you, but one way to get better pictures than on the website would be to look at the Hermès threads on The Purse Forum. I don’t know if you visit there already, but the members there are very helpful and they post gorgeous pictures of their scarves.

      The best thread for this season’s scarves is this one:

      Just ask for ideas on there and have a good look through. Otherwise, if you can, visit a boutique and try some scarves on. Best wishes, Anne x


  3. Chiara says:

    Dear Librain,
    Greetings from Rome, Italy!
    I’ve loved reading your post on Cosmographia Universalis (and other posts as well)! I’ve just gotten one as a Christmas present from my Lovely Boy-Friend. He chose #01 for me, though I must say that it’s not my favorite colourway… But I feel a bit guilty when I think I might change it 🙂
    Just wanted to say Hello and congratulate you. I have read the “About me” section and you seem to be a very nice and courageous woman!
    When I first read your full name, the first thing that came to my mind was “She should be called LibrAnne”, but the focus on your brilliant Brain works just as fine 🙂



    • The Librain says:

      I must apologise for not replying to your lovely comment until now. Thank you so much for reading my blog and for posting such a kind comment. I hope you are enjoying your Hermès scarf! I only intended to buy one…….!!!! Best wishes, Anne x


  4. Tatyana says:

    Hi! I usually don’t comment on blogs but couldn’t resist! I love your blogs about Hermes scarves – they are super informative and helpful! I believe it is the most detail description of designs I had seen and you are doing a wonderful job styling them and showing various ways the scarves could be worn. You are a beautiful and a happy woman and you have such a great taste! I am learning from you a great deal and also check all of your other posts about other scarves. Thank you and please please please continue!


    • The Librain says:

      I am so sorry that it has taken me such a long time to reply to your lovely comment. I really appreciate your taking time to visit and write such nice things! I hope to continue with the blog as long as my health allows. Best wishes, Anne x


  5. Pingback: Outfits of the week 26/08/22 | The Librain……retired

  6. Anne, Super helpful, as usual. Thank you for your hard work and Hermes devotion. Wishing you bright happy holidays. Jan


  7. its-all-goode says:

    Anne, thank you for your exceptional research and writing and, of course, your devotion to our beloved Hermes scarves. Jan


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