Catalog Archive
Auction 186, Lot 674

Elaborate Pictorial Map Celebrating Beijing

"A Map and History of Peiping; Formerly Known as Peking; Capital of Provinces, Princedoms, and Kingdoms Since 1121 B.C....",

Subject: Beijing, China

Period: 1936 (circa)


Color: Printed Color

28.2 x 31.8 inches
71.6 x 80.8 cm
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This elaborate pictorial map was drawn by Frank Dorn and published by the Peiyang Press Limited. Dorn, serving as a U.S. military attache in China from 1934-38, was a friend to Jo Mora, whose influence is clearly seen both in the whimsical style and volume of content presented here. The map extends to include the inner city, outer city, and surrounding countryside with cartoonish illustrations intended to capture the essence of the city including points of interest, customs, and daily life. Locates the Imperial City, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Alter of the Sun, and more. The Legation Quarter is prominently depicted at center with tiny flags of various countries, representing the foreign embassies that were located there until World War II. The surrounding border features additional illustrations showing a traditional wedding, funeral, and chronological history of the city. Written entirely in English, the lengthy title concludes that Peiping is "now a city which will live long in the memory of men as one of the greatest the world has ever known."

22-page explanatory booklet that accompanied this map is not present.

References: Hornsby (Picturing America) p. 153; Rumsey #10051.

Condition: B+

Issued folding and now flattened and professionally backed with heavy linen to reinforce and repair several fold separations, a couple of related small tears, and a few minor edge chips. Publisher's imprint in the bottom margin has been partially trimmed away.

Estimate: $2,200 - $2,500

Sold for: $1,600

Closed on 2/9/2022