Auction 172, Lot 31

"[Untitled - Japanese World Map] [in] [Japanese Woodblock Print Book]", Anon.

Subject: World

Period: 1850 (circa)


Color: Black & White

12.6 x 8.1 inches
32 x 20.6 cm

This early Japanese woodblock book consists of 33 leaves of Japanese calligraphy with beautiful illustrations throughout. The images in the volume appear to capture daily life at the time with scenes of farming, Japanese gardens, nature, and even an earthquake. What is most interesting about this picture book, however, is the inclusion an unusual circular world map printed on two sheets. While the shapes of the continents are quite distorted, the left sheet contains Europe, Asia and Africa while the right sheet depicts a very narrow and odd representation of the Americas. To the west of the Americas is a series of islands that presumably represent the islands of the South Pacific. Along the bottom of both sheets is a great southern landmass, similar in form to what appeared on 16th-17th century European world maps. Printed on mulberry paper and bound together with soft cardboard covers and silk thread. Circa date is based upon paper & binding.


Condition: B+

Contents have occasional soiling, but are otherwise clean and bright. Cardboard wrappers have some light shelf wear.

Estimate: $300 - $400

Sold for: $350

Closed on 4/17/2019