Catalog Archive
Auction 196, Lot 626

Important Jesuit Map of China

"La Chine Royaume...", Sanson/Mariette

Subject: China & Korea

Period: 1656 (dated)

Publication: Cartes Generales de Toutes les Parties du Monde…

Color: Hand Color

21.1 x 16.3 inches
53.6 x 41.4 cm
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Contemporary scholars assert that this important and attractive French map of China is based on an indigenous Chinese map copied by painter, cosmographer, and globemaker Matteo Neroni, drawing on information provided by the Jesuit Michele Ruggieri. (It was previously believed that the map was copied by the Jesuit Matteo Ricci.) The map extends to include the northern tip of the Philippines and a curiously curved Korean peninsula. Korea was usually shown as an island in the 17th century, including in Sanson's own 1652 map of China, so its depiction here is a cartographic improvement. The Great Wall forms the northern boundary and the map is filled with rivers, mountains, and villages. A detailed explanation panel in bottom right is surmounted by Pheme, the personification of fame and renown. Engraved by Jean Somer.

References: Caboara #47; Pastoureau, SANSON V A [10].

Condition: B+

Contemporary outline color that has been refreshed, with later color on Pheme, on a sheet with a large coat of arms watermark. There is light soiling, minor toning, and professional repairs to tears in the bottom corners of the map.

Estimate: $1,200 - $1,500


Closed on 2/7/2024