First European Map of Tibet
"Carte Generale du Thibet ou Bout-Tan et des Pays de Kashgar et Hami Dressee sur les Cartes et Memoires des RR PP Jesuites de la Chine...", Anville, Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d'
Subject: Central Asia, Tibet
Period: 1733 (dated)
Publication: Nouvel Atlas de la Chine, de la Tartarie Chinoise, et du Thibet
Color: Hand Color
23 x 18.1 inches
58.4 x 46 cm
This is the first European map of Tibet. The map centers on the Gobi Desert (Cobi ou Desert de Sable) which is nearly blank with the exception of several rivers that "become lost in the sand." To the south is the heavily mountainous region of Tibet filled with place names, rivers, and short notations. Adorned with a decorative title cartouche featuring two native figures and incense burners. Engraved by C. & G. Kondet.
D'Anville assembled maps of China compiled from an extensive Jesuit survey carried out in 1708-16 for the Emperor Kang-Shi, which were published in Jean Baptiste du Halde's Description Geographique Historique... de l'Empire de la Chine et de la Tartarie Chinoise in 1735. It remained the principal cartographical authority on China during the rest of the 18th century. The missionaries used local sources and personal observation to prepare these incredibly detailed maps. The maps were then re-engraved by D'Anville for a Dutch market two years later and published in an atlas volume, Nouvel Atlas de la Chine, de la Tartarie Chinoise, et du Thibet.
References: Shirley (BL Atlases) T.HALD-3a #32.
A dark impression on a bright sheet with a "PDM" watermark, minor printer's ink residue, and a few extraneous creases in the far corners of the sheet.