"Reys-Kaerte vande Ambassade der Nederlantsche Oost Indise Compagnie, door China en den Grooten Tartersen Cham", Nieuhoff, Johann
Period: 1665 (published)
Publication: Het Gezantschap der Neerlandtsche Oost-Indische Compagnie
Color: Black & White
20.5 x 17.3 inches
52.1 x 43.9 cm
This lovely map is from the first Dutch description of the Empire of China & one of the few non-Jesuit sources on China of this period. Nieuhoff was the official chronicler & draughtsman for the first embassy to China by the Dutch East India Company (VOC), then at the height of its power. His record of the trip, became the most important source of information about China for Europe in the 17th century. The map itself is nearly void of details, as the embassy was not allowed to travel in the interior. They traveled from Canton to Peking by way of rivers and canals, and this route is filled with placenames, starkly contrasting to the rest of the map. In place of details, Nieuhoff filled the map with little vignettes of the indigenous animals (although it is doubtful that elephants roamed the Gobi Desert as pictured here). The map is further embellished with sailing ships and junks and a title cartouche enclosed in a garland of exotic fruits and held aloft by cherubs.
Folding as issued and trimmed close to neatlines all around. A bit of light browning and two short binding tears.