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Maps of Asia

[ Holy Land | Turkey & Turkish Empire | Arabia & Persia | India | China ]
[ Southeast Asia & East Indies | Japan | Australia ]

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Muster: Asia
Sebastian Munster. "Tabula orientalis regionis, Asiae . . ." Basel, [1540]. 10 x 13 1/2. Woodcut. A few printer's wrinkles. Very good condition.

A nice example of the first separate map of Asia. Munster based his maps on Ptolemy's geography, but he greatly modified this thirteen-century old conception with recent information. Much of the data for this map of Asia came from the Travels of Marco Polo, written while Polo was in prison in 1298. This work told of Polo's travels with his father and uncle to China in 1275, and it had a immense impact on the conception of Asia held by Europeans through the sixteenth century. The map contains many inaccuracies reflecting the lack of good, first-hand explorations of Asia. The Indian sub-continent is shown too small, whereas in contrast Southeast Asia is beginning to be depicted somewhat correctly. Ceylon, once shown as a very large island, is now more its proper size, though two islands are shown in the immediate area. The old misconception concerning Ceylon is still reflected on this map, however, for the ancient name for the island, "Taprobana," is applied to Sumatra, an island more in scale with Ptolemy's idea of Taprobane. It is interesting to note the way Munster runs the continent of Asia off the eastern edge of the map, so as not to commit on whether Asia was or was not connected with North America; this despite his own map of America showing it as a separate land mass. Marco Polo's information was not all an improvement on Ptolemy. He introduced several geographic misconceptions, including one that put a 7,448 island archipelago off the coast of China, a misconception shown here by Munster with a scattering of islands and a legend giving their number. Besides its historic interest, this map has much visual appeal as well, with mole hill mountains, crenellated walls and towers to show cities, and Neptune and a huge sea monster in the ocean. This is a cornerstone map of Asia, belonging in any Asia collection. $1,500



J Hondius: Asia
Jodocus Hondius. "Asiae, Nova Descriptio Auctore Jodoco Hondio." Amsterdam: Jodocus Hondius 1606. 14 3/4 x 19 3/4. Engraving. Excellent original color. Full margins. Very good condition.

Jodocus Hondius (1563-1611) was one of the dominate figures in the great age of Dutch cartography. In 1604, he purchased the plates from the great Gerard Mercator's Atlas, and began publishing new editions of the atlas in 1606. This series of atlases was constantly updated with new maps by Hondius, reflecting his continued commitment to publishing a superior work. This particular map of Asia is one of Hondius' updated efforts, and it is an excellent example of his work.

The continent is presented with copious detail, and the map extends into the Pacific to include New Guinea and the Philippines. Much of the interior information of the Far East comes from Marco Polo, with some of it correct and much of it erroneous. To the northeast is shown the Anian Strait separating Asia and North America; though this looks like the Bering Strait, it was a geographical hypothesis with no basis in actual experience. Another hypothetical geographic feature is mentioned in the bottom right corner, where New Guinea is shown with a note indicating that it was not known whether it was an island or part of the hypothesized southern continent. The feature which is most noticeably incorrect is the depiction of Korea as an elongated island. The geographic misconceptions continue with several non-existent islands, including, "I dos hermanos," located in the oceans that are teeming with sea monsters and variously rigged sailing ships. These delightful decorative features are nicely complimented by the excellent calligraphy and the three mannerist cartouches, and the whole æsthetic appeal of the map is wonderfully highlighted by the lovely hand color. A superior map of Asia extending from the Eastern Mediterranean, to India, to Southeast Asia, all of China and out to Japan. Of major impact! $2,200



Blaeu Japan
Martini/Joan Blaeu. "Iaponia Regnum." Amsterdam, 1655+. 16 1/2 x 22 1/4. Engraving. Touches of hand color. Excellent condition. Walter, 38.

Martino Martini assembled information about Japan while he was in China. This map exhibits a combination of derivation from both the Jesuit Blancus/Moriera type and the Dudley/Jannson. Joan Blaeu would have been familiar with both these sources and also probably added the many Dutch names found here through his work with the Dutch East Indies Company. Prior to publishing his Atlas Major, Blaeu published a separate atlas of the orient entitled Atlas Sinensis in 1655. Most of the maps contained beautiful ornamentation, but this one is decidedly plain and straight forward. Following information from Robert Dudley, this is one of the earliest maps to show Korea as a peninsula rather than an island. The confused depiction of "Eso" that was found in other contemporary maps is not broached here because so little of the land mass is shown. $3,200
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Another map of an Asian region by W. Blaeu. Amsterdam: J. Bleau, 1643-50. Engraving. Excellent original hand color. Very good condition, except as noted.



DeWit East Indies
Frederick DeWit. "Tabula Indiae Orientalis." Amsterdam, 1662ff. 18 x 22 1/4. Engraving by Joannes Shuilier, 1662. Original hand color. Full margins. Very good condition. Koeman: Wit, 3 (17). Ref: Quirino, Philippine Cartography, p.84.

An updated map based on the Blaeu map of Southeast Asia (cf. above). Most of the atlases by Frederick DeWit (1630-1706) were composite in nature, so they are impossible to date precisely, though this map was engraved in 1662. The map shows from southeastern Persia to northwestern Australia. Focus is on India, Southeast Asia, and the East Indies with the Phillipines. The many islands are clearly depicted, with ports shown as the most important information. The Celebes Islands were then being developed for the spice trade which would lead to hostilities among the European powers. $1,250
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Michael Burgers. "A New Map of Present Asia dedicated to his Highness William duke of Gloucester." Oxford: Edward Wells, 1700. 13 3/4 x 19 1/4 (neat lines) plus full margins. Engraving by M. Burgers. Outline hand color. Center fold as issued. Slight age discoloration. Very good condition.

An attractive map of Asia from Wells' New Set of Maps both of Ancient and Present Geography. This atlas was issued by Wells for Oxford University students, which explains the clarity of the lettering and the lack of distracting, non-essential decorative features. The map was drawn and engraved by Michael Burgers (also Burg or van de Burgh), a Dutch mapmaker who came to England in 1672 and became the engraver to Oxford University. The map shows the entire continent as well as the East Indies which were coming rapidly into focus for the European powers. For the students, Wells shows the cities on the ancient Silk Road that was still being used even though the safest way to the Orient was by ship around Africa. China, Korea and Japan are shown in relatively correct juxtaposition but in simplified shapes. Relative importance of cities is shown with symbols. It is fascinating to think that if one were a student at the turn of the eighteenth century, this map reflects all one would be thought to need to know of Asia.

Part of that fascination is the realization that much of this ‘knowledge' was incorrect on this map. Shapes are distorted and old names are taken from ancient sources reflects many of the geographic errors and myths of the period. Overall, this is a map which is intriguing to look at both visually and intellectually. $625



Senex Asia
John Senex. "A New Map of Asia From the latest Observations." From A New General Atlas. London: J. Senex, 1721. 18 x 21 7/8. Engraving. Original outline color. Full margins. Very good condition.

A strongly engraved and nicely colored map by John Senex, one of the leading English cartographers in the early part of the eighteenth century, a time when England was coming to the forefront of the world cartographic scene. Senex was a popular and prolific mapmaker, and the quality of his work is evidenced by his appointment as Geographer to Queen Anne. This is a very attractive map of Asia, combining the latest information available to Senex with the many misconceptions of the continent prevalent in Europe at the time. Many rivers, towns, lake, roads, and other information is presented from the Urals to the East Indies. An inset of "ye supposed N. Coast of Asia" is given in the lower left "to avoid too great a contraction of the scale." The map is most confused in the seas to the north of Japan. The "Land of Iess" and "Company's Land" are shown as indistinct and large land masses, and north of them is an open "Eastern Ocean." Decoratively, this map is quite appealing. The neat, strong engraving is nicely complimented by the outline hand coloring. Senex included a charming title cartouche, which shows two figures in Asian dress, along with flora and fauna of the continent. $1,200



Senex: Turkey, Arabia and Persia
John Senex. "A Map of Turkey, Arabia and Persia. Corrected from the latest Travels & . . . Observations of ye Royal Society . . .." From A New General Atlas. London: J. Senex, 1721. 18 x 22. Double folio. Engraving (outline color). Full margins. Original outline color. Excellent condition.

A large and attractive map of the Middle East based on the original map by the French geographer Guillaume Delisle and revised by John Senex. An equal wealth of information is illustrated in southern Europe and north Africa. The title is framed by an exquisite cartouche decorated with images of the Muslims who inhabit these lands. A fine document. $1,200



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Emanuel Bowen. "A New & Exact Map of Asia." From John Harris' Complete Collection of Voyages and Travels. London, 1748. 14 1/2 x 18. Engraving. Repaired small hole in ocean at right; just affecting part of text label. Otherwise, very good condition.

Emanuel Bowen was a map engraver, printer and publisher in London in the mid-eighteenth century. He achieved considerable success in this field, being appointed as engraver to both Louis XV of France and George II of Britain, and later as Geographer to the latter. He produced some of the most interesting maps of his time. Despite his royal appointments and apparent success, Bowen died in poverty in 1767. Through all the vicissitudes of his life, however, Emanuel Bowen's maps continued at a very high level of quality, as exemplified by this nicely detailed map of Asia, "Compiled from Surveys & authentick Journals assisted by the most approved modern Maps & Charts, & Regulated by Astron. Observations." Interior detail is copious; some accurate and some erroneous. Bowen indicates the trade winds in the Indian Ocean and Pacific, which was important information for the many trade vessels plying those waters in the eighteenth century. Japan is somewhat strangely drawn, but it is relatively accurately compared to many maps of the period. To the north is "DeGama's Land, with its shore just sketched in part. $425



Caspian Sea detail [Detail]
Thomas Woodroofe. "A Plain Chart of the Caspian Sea." London: J. Hanway, 1753. 13 3/4 x 21 1/2. Engraving. With folds as issued. Split at fold at right and one tear just into image; repaired. Some light off-setting. Very good condition.

The first detailed chart of the Caspian sea based on the surveys of John Elton and Thomas Woodroofe. They were both Englishmen who surveyed the sea in the early eighteenth century as part of the British trade in the area. $450



Jean Janvier. "L'Asie divisée en ses Principaux Etats." From Atlas Moderne. Paris: Jean Lattré & J. Thomas, 1762. 12 1/4 x 17 5/8. Engraving. Original hand outline color. Lightly toned in margins, not affecting image. Else, very good condition.

Jean Janvier was a French cartographer who worked in Paris in the latter part of the eighteenth century. Among his output were some fine maps which appeared in Jean Lattré's Atlas Moderne. This atlas contained maps of all parts of the world engraved by Lattré, the "Graveur Ordinaire du Roi." Janvier's maps contained the best information available at the time, even though some of it was erroneous. This map of Europe is a good example of this, for the information on the coastlines, islands, rivers, major cities is all excellent. Janvier shows the political divisions of the continent, emphasized subtly by the hand-applied outline color. The map has an elaborate and lovely title cartouche that graces the upper left corner. A wonderful map of Europe from the period. $425



Delisle: Terrae Sanctae
Guillaume Delisle. "Terrae Sanctae Tabula e Scripturae Sacrae, Flavii Josephi, Eusebii et Divi Hieronymi..." From Rigobert Bonne's Atlas Moderne ou Collection de Cartes sur toutes les parties du Globe Terrestre. Paris: Lattré and Delalain, 1763. Two sheets each 13 1/2 x 19 1/2. Original hand color. Some minor blemishes. Otherwise, very good condition. Laor: 245.

A beautiful, two sheet map of the Holy Land originally done by Guillaume Delisle, but edited by his brother, Joseph after his death. Palestine shown divided among the Tribes. Typical of the French school of cartography, the decorative elements of the map are kept to the cartouches. In this particular one, the ten commandments are included. $550
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Drake: Asia
"An Accurate Map of Asia from the Latest Improvements by Astronomical Observances. From Drake's Voyages. London: T. Cooke, 1771. 7 1/2 x 11 1/4. Engraved by R. Reynolds. Hand outline color. $150



Bonne: Asie
Rigobert Bonne. "L'Asie." From Bonne's Atlas de toutes les parties connues du Globe Terrestre. Paris, 1780. 9 x 12 3/4. Engraving by André. Very good condition.

Rigobert Bonne was the Royal Hydrographer of France, so his primary interest was in marine charts. However, with his Royal connections and access to the cartographic documents in Paris, Bonne was able to compile maps containing some of the most up-to-date information of his time. This map of Asia is a good example of his work. The nations, cities, rivers, and other information along the coasts is clearly presented. A good picture of the continent near the end of the eighteenth century. $125



Thomas Kitchin. "Asia agreeable to the most approved Maps and Charts, By Mr. Kitchen." From George Millar's New Complete & Universal System of Geography. London: T. Kitchin, 1781. 13 1/4 x 15 3/8. Engraving. Margins as issued, narrow at top. Very good condition.

A detailed map of Asia by Thomas Kitchin (or "Kitchen" as on this map). Kitchin was a prolific English mapmaker of the late eighteenth century and his maps were used for Millar's popular geography in 1781. Much detail is given, compiled from the best sources available in London at the time. Asia, though better known than in earlier, was still a generally mysterious continent to Europeans. $125



Samuel Dunn. "Asia Divided into its Principal States and Regions; with All the Islands and The New Dsicoveries made by the English and the Russians in the Eastern Parts." London: Robert Sayer, 1789. 12 1/2 x 17 3/4. Engraving. Original hand color. Wide margins. Very good condition.

A handsome British map of Asia by Samuel Dunn (d. 1794). Besides being a mapmaker, Dunn was a sometimes publisher of maps and atlases, a mathematician, and teacher, who advertised his profession as "S. Dunn Teacher of the Mathematicks London. Boards Young Gentlemen, & Teacheth Penmanship, Merch'ts Acc'ts, Navigation, Fortification, Astronomy &c. Chelsea." Dunn's mathematical inclinations are demonstrated on the precision of this fine map which shows the entire continent of Asia and the oceans surrounding. Topography and political features are precisely engraved, and known rivers and lakes also. Overall, a fine example of British map-making from a period of growing world-wide power by the nation. $275



Payne: Asia
"Asia from the latest authorities." From John Payne's A New and Complete Universal Geography. New York: J. Low & Willis, 1798. 7 3/8 x 8 5/8. Engraving.

During the late eighteenth century, the American cartographic industry was in its nascent phase, with a small output by just a few cartographic publishers. Some of the most interesting maps of this period were published in a small geography by John Payne, issued from 1799 to 1800. The maps were usually based on larger American maps, and the finely engraved images show impressive detail of topography, roads, and towns. These are nice examples of early American cartography. $120



Cary New Map of China
John Cary. "A New Map of China." London: J. Cary, 1801. From New Universal Atlas. 18 x 20. Engraving. Full original hand color. Small spot near center; smudges in margins. Else, very good condition.

Amidst the turmoil of the Napoleonic wars, British naval power was rising, and mapmaking as an art and science kept pace. Cary used existing maps and new surveys to provide his clients with the most up-to-date information on all parts of the world. Inaccuracies might be evident, but they reflect the state of knowledge in western Europe when they were made. This was the best information then available by a man, who, with his sons, was one of the most prominent makers of maps and globes in the World. $425
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Wilkinson: Asia
"Asia drawn from the latest Astronomical Observations." From Robert Wilkinson's General Atlas of the World, Quarters, Empires, Kingdoms, States etc. with Appropriate Tables. London: R. Wilkinson, 1808. 11 3/4 x 9 3/4. Engraving. Original hand color. Very good condition.

A typically detailed and neat British map of Asia. Detail includes towns, rivers, and some other topography. Political divisions are shown with contrasting colors. Some of these are accurate, but some are quite speculative. With the lovely hand color and precise engraving, the map is decorative as well as historically interesting. $55



Cary: Asia 1816
John Cary. "Asia." From Cary's New Universal Atlas. London: J. Cary, 1816. 9 1/8 x 11 1/4. Engraving. Original hand color. Very good condition.

A detailed map of Asia by John Cary (ca. 1754-1835), the founder of the famous English cartographic firm. From about mid-way through the eighteenth century, British cartographers were the best in the world, and the maps produced by Cary are good examples of the quality they achieved. Cary was very concerned with the changing political situation in the world, so this map shows this in Asia to that date. Rivers, towns, political divisions, and topography are presented with crisp engravings, the hachuring giving the map a three-dimensional appearance. The subtle hand coloring adds a decorative touch to this fine early nineteenth century historic document. $225



Lucas: Asia 1816
Fielding Lucas Jr. "Asia." From A New and Elegant General Atlas Containing Maps of each of the United States. Baltimore: F. Lucas Jr., 1816. Folio. Engraving. Full original hand color. Light spots and smudges, else very good condition.

A fine map by Baltimore cartographer, Fielding Lucas Jr. (1781- 1854). Lucas appears to have become involved in the publishing and book trade while a resident of Philadelphia from 1798 to 1804, when he moved to Baltimore. In 1807 Lucas joined Conrad, Lucas & Co., and then in 1810 he set up his own business at 138 Market Street. There Lucas first got involved in cartographic publishing with his New and Elegant General Atlas of 1816. In the second decade of the nineteenth century, through his Philadelphia contacts, Lucas was one of the major contributors to Carey & Lea's atlas of 1823. Concurrently with this involvement, Lucas brought out his own General Atlas, containing 104 maps of all parts of the world. Lucas, during his 50 years of residence in Baltimore, established himself as a prominent citizen of that city, serving as President of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, President of the Board of School Commissioners, and as President of the Second Branch of the City Council. But it is for his important role in early American cartography that Lucas is best remembered. $225



John Thomson. "Asia." From A New General Atlas. Edinburgh: J. Thomson, 1821. Engraving. 19 3/4 x 23 1/2. Original hand color. Very good condition.

An detailed map of Asia, beautifully crafted, with precise engraving and neat hand coloring. The quality of British cartographic production was not limited to London, and this map is good evidence that superb maps were issued to the north as well. Topography is shown, and many settlements are indicated throughout. An excellent map of the continent from the eraly nineteenth century. $525



Cary India
John Cary. "A New Map of Hindoostan, from the Latest Authority." From Cary's New Universal Atlas. London: J. Cary, 1825. 18 1/4 x 20. Engraving. Minor wear in outside margins and along center seam. Otherwise, very good condition.

English mapmaker John Cary (ca. 1754-1835), was the founder of the famous English cartographic firm. From about mid-way through the eighteenth century, British cartographers were the best in the world, and the maps produced by Cary are good examples of the quality achieved in Britain. Rivers, towns, roads, and other information is clearly presented with very crisp engravings, and the maps have an almost three-dimensional topographical appearance. The subtle hand coloring adds a decorative touch to these fine early nineteenth century historic documents. This full size map of Hindoostan includes an insert of the Island of Ceylon. $450
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Goodrich Asia
Thomas G. Bradford. "Asia." From Samuel G. Goodrich's A General Atlas of the World. Boston: C.D. Strong, 1841. 12 x 14 1/4. Engraving by G.W. Boynton. Original hand color. Some light staining in margins. Overall, very good condition.

A very interesting map of the Asian continent by Thomas Bradford and issued in the Goodrich edition of his important atlas. An interesting and nicely detailed map from an interesting period in history. $175




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