Auction 134, Lot 639

"Suchuen, Imperii Sinarum Provincia Sexta", Blaeu, Johannes

Subject: China

Period: 1655 (circa)

Publication: Novus Atlas Sinensis

Color: Hand Color

19 x 15.7 inches
48.3 x 39.9 cm

The second landmark in the European mapping of China was the appearance of the Novus Atlas Sinensis in 1655. It was compiled by Father Martino Martini, an Italian Jesuit and produced by the most prominent Dutch cartographer of the time, Johannes Blaeu. Father Martini compiled the work based on Chinese sources between 1643 and 1650, and it greatly advanced European knowledge of the region including the astronomical positions of many cities and topographical features. It remained the standard geographical work on that country until the publication in 1737 of D'Anville's Atlas de la Chine. This map of the Suchen province is decorated with two particularly graphic cartouches. The scales are flanked by mythical woodwose who represent the mighty Yangtze River, and a warlord and his guard stand behind the title cartouche.


Condition: A+

Sharp impression and exquisite original color that is highlighted in gold. Faintly toned with a couple tiny edge tears, but still fine overall.

Estimate: $700 - $800

Sold for: $1,100

Closed on 12/1/2010