Extraordinary Maps of China.


31 January '12

17th Century maps of China, published by Joan Blaeu.

Blaeu published the New Atlas of China showing on the illustrated title-page, an open door, bearing the following title:

Novus Atlas sinensis a Martino Martinio Soc. Iesu descriptus et seren archiduci Leopoldo

Guilielmo Austracio dedicatus. Cum privilegio S.C. Maj. Etd Ordd. Foed. Belg.

Contrary to the maps in the preceding Blaeu atlases, all the maps are blank on the back. Every map bears the following privilege:

‘Cum privilegio Sacrae Caesar Mas. & Ordinum Belgica Foederatae’.

Versions are in the University Library at Utrecht and the University Library at Amsterdam, the Saltykov Public Library at Leningrad and in the Special Collection of the Californian State Hayward Library.

Based on Chinese sources, the atlas was far in advance of any previous European work. For the period it was remarkably accurate, being the first to show a more correct eastern coast-line with the Shantung promontory.

Published in Amsterdam in 1655, it was incorporated at that date, and in the later editions, of the "Great" atlas issued by Blaeu. It consisted, besides text, of a general map of China, 15 maps of individual Chinese provinces, and a general map of Japan. As was usual with Blaeu's publications, it was offered for sale both plain and colored.

3 Maps in our Collection

Here you will find 3 Maps from this Atlas.