Catalog Archive
Auction 195, Lot 711

Striking Carte-a-Figures Map of China with the Island of Korea

"The Kingdome of China Newly Augmented", Speed, John

Subject: China, Korea & Japan

Period: 1626 (dated)

Publication: A Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World

Color: Hand Color

20 x 15.4 inches
50.8 x 39.1 cm
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This superb map of China, Korea and Japan is the only carte-a-figures map made of the region. The Great Wall protects the Kingdom of China from a variety of evil creatures that occupy The Desert Lop, and the rest of the kingdom is delineated by a long range of mountains in the west that separates it from The Kingdome of Bramas. Korea is a long island and Japan is presented on the Ortelius-Teixeira model. The decorative panel at top features bird's-eye plans of Macao (copied from DeBry) and Qyinzay (Hangzhou) along with scenes depicting ingeniously crafted wind-carts and their manner of execution (crucifixion). The inhabitants of the region are shown at sides, including a very early depiction of a Japanese soldier. There are interesting notes throughout the map on various historical and mythical aspects of the region, including where men are seduced by wonderful illusions and where fireproof cloth is woven. The English text on verso provides an equally fascinating description of Chinese culture. George Humble's imprint at Popshead Alley is at lower right.

References: Cortazzi, plt. 29; Manasek #56; Shirley (BL Atlases) T.SPE-2a #19.

Condition: B+

A nice impression on a bright sheet with a bunch of grapes watermark, a few tiny holes in the vignette at top right, marginal soiling, and minor mat burn outside the image. There are archival repairs to some small tears and chips along the edges of the sheet, as well as to a hole on the face of the Chinese woman at top left with some loss of image around the neck area and the face replaced in facsimile.

Estimate: $3,500 - $4,250

Sold for: $2,300

Closed on 11/15/2023