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Map of Quantung, 1655

Map of Quantung
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Map of Quantung
Price
Price on request
Status
Available
Origin
The Netherlands, Amsterdam
Period
1655
Material
Copper engraving, originally hand coloured
Reference
610-4
Height
40.50 cm / 16 in
Width
48.50 cm / 19 in

Full title: Quantung, imperii sinarum Provincia Duodecima

The Novus Atlas Sinensis (New Atlas of China) was prepared by the Jesuit Priest Father Martino Martini of the Society of Jesus and published by Blaeu in 1655. The unique map is autographed by the author and coloured entirely by hand.

The Atlas Sinensis, apart from the technical excellence of its production, is important as being the first European atlas of China. It remained the standard geographical work on China until the publication in 1737 of D'Anville's Atlas de la Chine.

Condition

The engraved map is in very good condition.

On the illustrated title-page, an open door is shown, bearing the following title:

Novus Atlas sinensis a Martino Martinio Soc. Iesu descriptus et seren archiduci Leopoldo Guilielmo Austracio dedicatus. Cum privilegio S.C. Maj. Etd Ordd. Foed. Belg.

Titlepage

Contrary to the maps in the preceding Blaeu atlases, all the maps are blank on the back. Every map bears the following privilege:

‘Cum privilegio Sacrae Caesar Mas. & Ordinum Belgica Foederatae’.

Versions are in the University Library at Utrecht and the University Library at Amsterdam, the Saltykov Public Library at Leningrad and in the Special Collection of the Californian State Hayward Library.

Based on Chinese sources, the atlas was far in advance of any previous European work. For the period it was remarkably accurate, being the first to show a more correct eastern coast-line with the Shantung promontory.

Published in Amsterdam in 1655, it was incorporated at that date, and in the later editions, of the "Great" atlas issued by Blaeu. It consisted, besides text, of a general map of China, 15 maps of individual Chinese provinces, and a general map of Japan. As was usual with Blaeu's publications, it was offered for sale both plain and coloured.