Where these objects were found
71 Tughra of Suleiman the MagnificentBrowse all British Museum objects
72 Ming banknote
73 Inca gold llama
74 Jade dragon cup
75 Dürer's 'Rhinoceros'
The Threshold of the Modern World (AD 1375-1550)
In about 1450 a string of great empires dominated the world. The Ottoman Turks were threatening Europe with invasion. Asia was dominated by Ming China and the Timurid Empire, but the world’s largest state was the Inca Empire in South America. Europe, in contrast, was a patchwork of squabbling powers. Yet there were the first signs of a shift towards a connection of all the world’s continents by European exploration that would mark the beginning of a recognisably modern world. These new maritime empires brought Europe’s fragmented kingdoms great wealth. The rhinoceros that inspired Durer’s iconic print was a present from an Indian Sultan to a Portuguese governor.