Catalog Archive
Auction 195, Lot 708

"Xensi, Imperii Sinarum Provincia Tertia", Blaeu, Johannes

Subject: Northern China

Period: 1655 (circa)

Publication: Novus Atlas Sinensis

Color: Hand Color

18.9 x 15.7 inches
48 x 39.9 cm
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This map of the Xensi (Shaanxi) province features the Great Wall of China. A legend at left illustrates towns of various sizes, forts, and the locations of gold mines. The map is adorned with two decorative strapwork cartouches featuring a putto, a Chinese figure, and a deer. Blank verso.

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.

References: Van der Krogt (Vol. II) #8423:2.

Condition: B+

A crisp impression on watermarked paper with light toning and soiling, an archivally repaired centerfold separation at bottom, and minor damp stains along the edges of the sheet.

Estimate: $400 - $475

Sold for: $325

Closed on 11/15/2023