Catalog Archive
Auction 109, Lot 624

"The Map of China", Purchas, Samuel

Subject: China

Period: 1625 (circa)

Publication: Puchas His Pilgrimes…

Color: Hand Color

14.5 x 11.5 inches
36.8 x 29.2 cm

This is a rare and important early English map of China. It was purportedly based on a Chinese map captured by an English merchant in the port of Bantam (in what is now Indonesia). There is speculation that this Chinese map was the 1593 Cao Map, of which there is now only one recorded example. The map is an interesting combination of Eastern and Western cartography with squares and circles depicting cities and settlements in a unique Asian style. The province boundaries are shown, for perhaps the first time on a Western map, and Macao and Canton are named. Chinese characters are included in the title and it is decorated with portraits of the famous Jesuit father, Matteo Ricci and two costumed figures of a Chinese man and woman. This map was the model for the De Bry and Semedo maps.


Condition: A

Couple of professional repairs on centerfold.

Estimate: $2,000 - $2,500

Sold for: $6,000

Closed on 12/1/2004