Auction 145, Lot 705

"A New Map of Ancient Asia Dedicated to His Highness William Duke of Gloucester", Wells, Edward

Subject: Asia

Period: 1701 (published)

Publication: A New Sett of Maps both of Ancient and Present Geography

Color: Hand Color

20 x 14.6 inches
50.8 x 37.1 cm

This handsome map covers continental Asia and much of eastern Africa. Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia appear with notations that they were unknown to Ptolemy. Wells used a unique device for depicting those regions known to the ancients as opposed to those known in modern times; note the different hachures outlining the landmasses. The long held mythical Lake Chiamay is a major geographical feature of central China and the source of the Nile in Africa is shown according to Ptolemy. The map is filled with notes of historical interest. For example, it is noted that Sumatra is "Taprobana according to some," while Sri Lanka is identified as "Taprobana according to most." Three cartouches decorate the map including one that dedicates the map to William, Duke of Gloucester, who was Wells' pupil at Oxford. Engraved by Michael Burghers.

References: Yeo #87; Shirley (BL Atlases) T.WELL-1a #27.

Condition: B

There is some soiling and light creasing. Remargined at left with minor loss of neatline.

Estimate: $400 - $500

Sold for: $250

Closed on 6/12/2013