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Antique Maps of China

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Frederick DeWit. "Tabula Tartariae et Majoris partis Regni China." Amsterdam, circa. 1680. 17 1/4 x 21 1/2. Engraving. Original hand color. Brown colors corroded some paper; archival backing to repair and strengthen. Otherwise, good condition.

Although titled "Tartariae" the map shows from the Caspian Sea through India and China and as far east as Japan. The northern part shows present-day Mongolia and farther north but with the Kamchatka Peninsula missing from eastern Russia. Japan and "Yedso" are shown according to the information that came from DeVries' voyage. As in the Janson map above, the Great Wall is shown prominently, as is the mythical "Chiammay" Lake. A fascinating map of an area relatively little known in Europe in the seventeenth century. $750



Covens & Mortier: Asia
Guillaume Delisle. "Carte Des Indes et de la Chine." Amsterdam: Jean Covens & Cornelius Mortier, ca. 1730. 24 1/4 x 24 1/2. Engraving. Original outline hand color. Full margins. Excellent condition.

A highly detailed map of Asia by Guillaume Delisle (1675-1726), the leading French cartographer of the eighteenth century and one of the greatest of all time. He is known as the "father of scientific cartography" because he was the first publisher to use methods of mensuration and triangulation in map preparation. According to Tooley, "his work was highly rated, not only by his own countrymen, but by the world at large." (Maps and Mapmakers, p. 43), and he was certainly "the most prominent figure at the beginning of the century." (Ibid.)

Asia was an area of great interest to eighteenth century Europeans, and this map shows a gradual expansion of their geographic knowledge of the region. This map, by Delisle, presents as up-to-date and correct information as was available. Depictions of towns, rivers, political divisions, and some topography are neatly and clearly presented. From West to East the map shows Tartaria at its western extreme, all of India, Southeast Asia, the East Indies, China, Korea, and Japan. The publishers of this edition of the map, Jean Covens and Cornelius Mortier, purchased Delisle's plates after his death, and continued to issue the maps from their press in Amsterdam. They enhanced their issues with the use of hand color, well evidenced in this attractive and interesting historical document. $1,200



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



C. Gros. "Geographical and Historical Map of China." From C. V. Lavoisne's A Complete Genealogical, Historical & Chronological Atlas. Philadelphia: M. Carey & Son, 1821. 8 1/2 x 10 1/2 (map), 16 1/2 x 20 1/8 (full page with text). Engraving by Young. Original hand color. Minor browning along center seam and outside margins. Otherwise, very good condition.

A very informative map of the East from Lavoisne's Historical Atlas. The maps from this atlas are wonderful both for their attractive geography, and for the historic text which surrounds each map. The text provides information on the religion, geography, climate, and "manner" of the people. Also included is a chronological sketch of China's history. A small section is also dedicated to the Empire of Japan. $145



Anthony Finley. "China." Philadelphia: A. Finley, 1827. From A New General Atlas. Small folio. Engraving by Young & Delleker. Full original hand-color. Full margins. Very good condition.

Early in the nineteenth century, Anthony Finley was a great popularizer of maps out of Philadelphia and one of the leading cartographic publishers in America. His copper engraved maps are noted for their crisp appearance and interesting detail. This map of China is typical of his work. $90



Burr China
David H. Burr. "Chinese Empire and Japan." From A New Universal Atlas (1835). New York: Thomas Illman, 1835. 10 1/4 x 12 3/4. Engraving. Full original color. Very good condition. Denver.

An excellent map of China and Japan by David H. Burr, one of the most important American cartographers of the first part of the nineteenth century. Having studied under Simeon DeWitt, Burr produced the second state atlas issued in the United States, of New York in 1829. He was then appointed to be geographer for the U.S. Post Office and later geographer to the House of Representatives. As a careful geographer, Burr is painstaking in this map to put in only information for which he felt there was a scientific basis. The map has excellent topographical and political information, as well having attractive hand color. Burr's maps are scarce and quite desirable. $135



S. Augustus Mitchell. "China." Philadelphia: S. Augustus Mitchell, 1849. 12 x 9 1/2. Lithograph transfer from engraved plate. Original hand-coloring. Some time toning to paper and oxidation of color. Otherwise, very good condition.

A fine map of China from S. Augustus Mitchell's A New Universal Atlas. For much of the middle part of the nineteenth century, the Mitchell firm dominated American cartography in output and influence. S. Augustus Mitchell Jr.'s maps of the 1860s are probably the best known issues of this firm, but his father's earlier efforts are excellent maps derived from H.S. Tanner's atlas of the 1830s. Topographical information is clearly presented and towns, lakes, roads, and other information is shown and named. Political divisions are indicated with contrasting pastel shades. $125



"China." Philadelphia: Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co., 1850. 11 1/4 x 14 1/4. Engraving. Full original color. Full margins. Very good condition.

An excellent map of China from the Philadelphia firm of Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co. from the period when Philadelphia dominated American mapmaking. The Thomas, Cowperthwait firm purchased many of its maps from the well known firm of Samuel Augustus Mitchell, and reissued their maps (cf. above) The map shows China at an interesting time in its history, the eve of largest uprising in modern Chinese history- the Taiping Rebellion. $100



Charles Desilver. "China." Philadelphia: Charles Desilver, 1856. 11 1/2 x 14 1/4. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition.

Charles Desilver, one of the many publishers working in Philadelphia during the mid-nineteenth century, issued an atlas of maps based on the famous Tanner-Mitchell-Cowperthwait series. Though the information is similar to the above mentioned, the coloring and Victorian border give the map it's own unique feel. $95



Colton: China
J.H. Colton. "Colton's China." New York: G.W. & C.B. Colton & Co., 1866. 12 3/4 x 15 1/2. Lithograph. Original hand color. Two small spots, else very good condition.

In the mid-nineteenth century, the center of map publishing in America moved from Philadelphia to New York. The J.H. Colton publishing firm played a large role in this shift. Typical of the American atlases at the time, the regions are differentiated by contrasting colors and the entire map is surrounded by a decorative Victorian border. Also included are insets of Canton and Amoy. $85



"Tunison's China" Jacksonville, Illinois: H.C. Tunison, 1885. Wax engraving. Original color. 12 x 9 3/4. Very good condition. Denver.

A handsome map of China from Tunison's Peerless Universal Atlas. With the development of wax engraving (cerography), more maps and atlases were able to be produced in cities beyond the major centers of New York, Philadelphia and Chicago. Henry C. Tunison issued a series of fine atlases beginning in 1885 and lasting into the beginning of the twentieth century. This is a nice example of his output, showing China at an important time in history. $55



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